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West Hartford Resident Organizes 'Rogue' Santas for a Good Cause

Kevin O'Connell is coordinating the 8th annual Santa Charity Pub Tour, the proceeds of which will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter.

West Hartford Santas Rick Green, Kevin Lyman, A.J. O’Brien and Gene Macy pose at The Russian Lady in downtown Hartford during the seventh annual Santa Charity Pub Tour on Saturday, Dec. 1.  Contributed photo
West Hartford Santas Rick Green, Kevin Lyman, A.J. O’Brien and Gene Macy pose at The Russian Lady in downtown Hartford during the seventh annual Santa Charity Pub Tour on Saturday, Dec. 1. Contributed photo

There’s the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. And then there’s Running of the Santas in Hartford, CT.

“I don’t know what’s more dangerous,” said West Hartford resident Kevin O’Connell, who coordinates the annual Santa Charity Pub Tour, which is now in its eighth year.

This year the pub tour, the proceeds of which will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7. Of the 300 or so people who take part in the event, between 80 to 90 percent will dress up as Santa or Mrs. Claus, O’Connell said.

The event has grown from the 20 or 30 people who took part in the first pub tour, according to O’Connell. Most of them were affiliated with the Hartford Wanderers rugby team. Since then, the event has raised more than $30,000 for the fight against MS.

“It’s a fun event for a great cause,” O’Connell said.

According to a press release, “[t]he crawl kicks off when the rogue Santas convene at the top of Pratt St. in Hartford.”

“It’s like a red wave coming down Pratt Street,” O’Connell said.

“At the ringing of bells and with chants of ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!,’ the Santas dash down Pratt street toward Trumbull street,” according to the press release.

Taverns and pubs include Vaughan’s Public House, McKinnon’s Irish Pub, Pig’s Eye Pub, City Steam, among others.

For more information on the Dec. 7 Santa Pub Crawl and a list of participating pubs and taverns, contact Kevin O’Connell at 860-995-7206, by e-mail at hartfordsantas@yahoo.com, look for the 8th Annual Santa Pub Crawl on Facebook or visit www.hartfordsantas.com.

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