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Santa Run takes to downtown Vegas streets on Saturday

Motorists will be seeing red — and a lot of it — if they drive the streets of downtown Las Vegas on Saturday morning.

City officials said Wednesday that several downtown streets will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, a charitable event for Opportunity Village.

The event attracted about 8,000 participants — most of them dressed in Santa suits — last year, and organizers are hoping to draw 10,000 this year.

At times in the morning, these street closures will occur: Las Vegas Boulevard between Hoover and Bridger avenues and between Fremont Street and Ogden Avenue; Sixth Street between Hoover and Fremont; Seventh Street between Gass and Bridger avenues; and Ninth Street between Gass and Fremont and between Ninth and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The 5K running and 1-mile walking courses wind among those streets with the start and finish lines of both courses within two blocks of each other, at Las Vegas Boulevard and Carson Avenue and at Ogden Avenue and Fourth Street, respectively. Race participants will gather at the Third Street Stage and walk along the Fremont Street Experience to the starting line at 9:30 a.m. The 5K race and the procession of participants in the noncompetitive 1-mile walk starts at 10; the walk starts at 10:30.

While the race itself is a competitive event, it’s also part of an international competition by several participants with other cities worldwide. Last year, Liverpool, England, wrestled the unofficial championship away from Las Vegas with 8,500 participants. Liverpool’s 2015 Santa run is Sunday.

Opportunity Village officials are encouraging participants and supporters to download the ParkMe app or visit its website for parking locations.

While streets are expected to reopen by 1 p.m., activity will continue throughout the day with all proceeds from the SlotZilla Zipline going to the charity through 5 p.m.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

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