Explore Las Vegas

Celebrate 18 Years of the Las Vegas Great Santa Run

The annual event started small years ago and now includes thousands of participants every year.

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is a fun-filled holiday event that supports the local non-profit organization Opportunity Village. Participants can choose to run or walk either the 5k or 1-mile course through Downtown Las Vegas, decked out in a Santa suit and accompanied by pre-race festivities and post-race entertainment. 

“We celebrate the people we serve in a fun, festive style as we tromp around the streets of downtown, bringing life and holiday spirit to Fremont Street,” Race Director Rebecca Messer said of the race. “There are people who join every year to support Opportunity Village’s mission no matter the distance.” 

Santa Selfies at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run | WHERE Traveler®
Santa Selfies at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run (Courtesy Opportunity Village)

The Beloved Las Vegas Great Santa Run Returns Again

“It is a race centered around inclusivity and families and also drives the Downtown Las Vegas community,” Messer explained. “The Great Santa Run raises funds and awareness for Opportunity Village’s programs and services, which provide unparalleled opportunities, enrichment and support to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.”

The 2022 Las Vegas Great Santa Run 

In addition to getting into the holiday spirit, participants are also supporting the important work of Opportunity Village, which serves adults with intellectual disabilities. This year marks the 18th annual Great Santa Run, and runners have the option of completing the race in person on December 3rd or virtually any time between December 3rd and 24th. Runners can expect new merchandise and promotions throughout Downtown Las Vegas this year.

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is a great way to kick off the holiday season while also giving back to the community! Annual turnout has brought in thousands of Santas. “The largest turnout was in 2009 with almost 9,000 runners and a close second is 2016 with 8,000 runners,” Messer told us. Pets are also welcome at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run—make sure to sign them up so they can also get some swag of their own! 

Santa Pets at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run | WHERE Traveler®
Santa Pets at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run (Courtesy Opportunity Village)

The Virtual Las Vegas Great Santa Run

For those unable to participate in person, the virtual race option still allows participants to support Opportunity Village and receive a medal, bib, and swag bag. The virtual race can be completed anytime between Dec. 3-24, 2022, at a location of the participant’s choosing. By signing up for the virtual race, runners and walkers are showing their support for a great cause while still being able to get in some holiday cheer and exercise. 

“Virtual runs are not as popular as being in Downtown Las Vegas, but it offers the chance to include people who want to support the event or even participate but can’t find the means to attend in person,” Messner said of the virtual run option.

Santa Family at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run | WHERE Traveler®
Santa Family at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run (Courtesy Opportunity Village)