Annual Santa Shuffle took over downtown Kelowna Saturday

Santas shuffle through town

Hundreds of Santas and other costumed characters gathered by Kelowna's Dolphins statue Saturday morning, for a bit of exercise for a good cause.

The Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk has been taking place in Kelowna for the past 14 years, and it's been held nationwide for 29 years.

The 390 people participating in the five-kilometre run and one-kilometre walk Saturday have been raising money for the local Salvation Army. Darryl Burry, lead pastor and executive director of the Kelowna Salvation Army, says they typically raise about $10,000 through the event, money which stays in Kelowna.

“Every year, the costumes are getting more and more elaborate, the pets that are coming out dressed up are always fantastic to see,” Burry said.

“It's just a really fun, family, festive event that a lot of people get engaged in over the season.”

The Kelowna Salvation Army has set a goal of raising $700,000 over the Christmas season through various fundraisers, including their annual Christmas kettle campaign.

Through December, the Salvation Army helps those who are most vulnerable in the community have a good Christmas, providing gift cards to help purchase food and gifts for young ones. But their community work lasts all year.

“All of the funds that come in during the Christmas season enable us to run our supportive food bank,” Burry said. “We have literally thousands of local families that access us every year, just needing a little extra support with food.”

The funds also help the Salvation Army provide support to first responders and evacuees during times of natural disasters, like local flooding and wildfires.

More Kelowna News