CANCELLED – Statement from Stoke-on-Trent City Council (Friday 16 December 2022) says:
Due to the recent plummeting temperatures, we are sorry to inform you that this weekend’s (Sat 17th and Sunday 18th) planned Santa Dash will no longer be taking place. Our team has been monitoring the weather on a daily basis with a hope that Sunday would bring slightly warmer temperatures and allow the event to go ahead. Unfortunately, with a Met Office yellow weather warning in place and snow and ice forecast for Stoke-on-Trent, we have been given no choice but to postpone the event on health and safety grounds. We understand participants will be disappointed but this decision is in keeping with other organised events across the city which have also been cancelled or postponed. Our number one priority is keeping everyone safe and we apologise for any inconvenience. We are looking at options to enable us to stage an event in January to coincide with the opening of the Etruria Valley Link Road. We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.
Families are being encouraged to put on their festive outfits for a dash along Stoke-on-Trent’s newest road.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is hosting a Santa Dash at 10.30am on Sunday, December 18, giving people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel along the Etruria Valley Link Road, which connects the A500 at Wolstanton to Festival Park and St Modwen Park Stoke Central, on foot before it officially opens to traffic in January 2023.
The entire course is no longer than 2km giving participants the chance to walk, jog, run, push or come along in a wheelchair. The Santa Dash is completely free to enter with families being invited to make donations to the Lord Mayor’s charities – Brighter Futures and the Hubb Foundation – on the day.
Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “The Etruria Valley Link Road is one the biggest transport infrastructure projects we have seen in Stoke-on-Trent for decades. This key route will connect the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone to the city’s major road network and unlock the final phase of work at Etruria. I am delighted to be able to invite families from across the city in joining me to experience this multi-million pound project before it officially opens next year.
“We’ll also be using this as an opportunity to raise money for the Lord Mayor’s charities – the Hubb Foundation and Brighter Futures. So make sure you register your place at our Santa Dash today.”
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public heath, added: “The Santa Dash will be fantastic way to mark the festive season and the seven day countdown to Christmas day. It is guaranteed to be fun for all the family and it’s open to everyone no matter your age or ability. We want to see you walk, run or even dance your way down the Etruria Valley Link Road. Channel your festive spirit and come dressed in costumes, Christmas jumpers – or even your favourite Christmas pyjamas.
“We recognise that 2022 has been a difficult year for many, which is why we launched our Stronger Together Through Winter programme, but we hope that this free event will help bring people together and get everyone into the Christmas spirit. It is also a chance to raise some money for some fantastic local charities.”
Everyone taking part in the Santa Dash will receive a medal and a treat when they finish and will have the chance to dance along to some festive music.
Parking is available at Festival Park but, due to its location, the Santa Dash cannot accommodate spectators. Only those registered will be able to enter the event and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
(Main image Cllr Lorraine Beardmore and Lord Mayor, Cllr Faisal Hussain, with Santa and his elves at the launch of the Santa Dash.)