The streets of Rīga belong to Santa

The burghers of Rīga were all on their best behavior December 9 as popular seasonal entertainer Santa Claus and a legion of imitators arrived in the Latvian capital for their annual exercise.

Dozens of red-clothed, bearded gift distributors of both sexes careened through the cobblestoned streets, declaiming "Ho ho ho" and similar words of wisdom to stunned passers-by.

The Santa Run event is organized annually by the Riga International Rotary Club with runners paying an entrance fee to raise money for charity. In the Christmas charity event this year funds were earmarked for the rehabilitation of children with impaired mobility

Unlike some other mass manifestations seen in the streets of Rīga each year, the event passed off peacefully. Police made no arrests. 

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