Hundreds of Santas hit the ski slopes for charity

Hundreds of Santas hit the ski slopes for charity

About 300 red-suited lookalikes gathered for the 19th annual Santa Sunday in the tiny western town of Newry, about 129 kilometres northwest of Portland. This year's crop of Kris Kringles was among the largest, organizers said, despite some rain in the morning.

The skiing Santas participated in full garb, including a white beard, red hat and red outfit. The Santas must all donate a minimum of $20 (€18), which helps support local education and recreation programmes.

"There's something about seeing 300 Santas ski down the mountain to support a great cause that puts people in the holiday spirit," said Caroline Ochtera, Director of Events for Sunday River.

Karren Williams, 58, who has participated for several years, said she practised ahead of time. "You got to 'ho-ho' a lot down the hill," said Williams, who works at a pharmaceutical company in Boston. "You've got to do that whole jolly thing."