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Skiing Santas hit the slopes in Maine

Skiers dressed as Santa Claus hit the slopes, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, at the Sunday River ski resort in Newry, Maine. The annual Santa Sunday event raises money for local charities. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Skiers dressed as Santa Claus hit the slopes, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, at the Sunday River ski resort in Newry, Maine. The annual Santa Sunday event raises money for local charities. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
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NEWRY, Maine -

Ho ho ho, away they go -- Santa's helpers took the day off on Sunday with a few hundred of the jolly ol' elves hitting the slopes.

With beards and stocking caps flapping, some 300 red-suited Santas were lively and quick at the foggy Sunday River ski resort in western Maine as they took a break from the holiday hustle and bustle.

The annual event has been held for more than 20 years, except for once during the pandemic. The skiing Santas participate in full Kringle garb, including, of course, a white beard and red hat.

The event's rules specifically state the hat must bear a white pompom.

The annual event serves as a festive kickoff to both the holiday season and the skiing season. It raises money for The River Fund Maine, an education charity.

This year's event raised US$8,000, Sunday River representatives said.

"Each year, the kindness of Santa Sunday participants contributes to creating impactful educational opportunities for our local students," said Sunday River Resort President Dana Bullen.

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