The Well Outreach food pantry will be kicking off what it hopes will become a regular tradition in Spring Hill this Saturday: the first Santa Ride, where participants will bike a three-mile route through the city, all dressed as ol' Saint Nick. The ride will end at Grecian Pizza with a holiday breakfast.
"It's just so cute when there're 10 to 20 Santas going down the road, and the cars are honking [and] people are smiling and laughing," said Shelly Sassen, executive director at the Well Outreach. "This is a tradition that my husband had done up in the Chicago community, and it really was just a way to bring Christmas cheer and to spread whimsy to the community. It was a bunch of cyclists who cycled together all year, and at Christmas time just stepped it up a notch and decided they were going to wear Santa suits one year."
Participants are asked to meet at the Well Outreach at 5226 Main Street on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., where Santas can met over coffee while decorating their bikes. The group will depart north along Main Street at 9:15 a.m., with a few yet to be determined stops planned along the way, such as at a nursing home to give out candy and sing Christmas carols. The trek will conclude around 10:15 a.m. at Grecian Pizza, where Santa participants can refuel with breakfast.
Sassen said she hopes to continue the Santa Ride for years to come, just as she and her husband had done during their time living in Chicago.
"This is our eighth year, we've done seven years in Chicago, and this will be our first annual Spring Hill ride," Sassen said. "We're hoping to make it a Christmas tradition here in this community."
The event costs $20 to participate, with the admission cost going toward both supporting the Well Outreach and providing for breakfast at Grecian Pizza. Participants are asked to bring a bicycle, a Santa or elf suit, decorations for the bicycle, as well as the $20 admission cost.
Those interested are asked to sign up via the event's Facebook event page. Questions about the event may be directed towards Tim Sassen via email at email@example.com.