Samta at Reindeer Run

Santa Claus poses with Emerson Welborn at the 2017 Rotary Reindeer Run. The Jolly Elf will return for this year’s event on Dec. 1.

Santa Claus is coming to town and he will be participating in the Rotary Reindeer Run Dec. 1 in Downtown Conway.

According to Rotary Club spokesman Joe Huffman, Santa will participate in the free Family Fun Run, which is a part of the annual 5K Reindeer Run.

“We will have a special visit from the real Santa for pictures and candy, and Santa will participate in the free Family Fun Run,” Huffman said.

The race will begin and end at Conway Marina Park. Runners and walkers are welcome, but pets are discouraged.

The entry fee is $35 until the day of the race.  

Participants may sign up on Also, the Grand Strand Running Club site has a link to the race. Online registration is $35 and closes at midnight on Nov. 30.   Onsite registration will be available until 7:45 a.m. Race day registration is $40.

Age groups are available for men and women in several age divisions: 14-and-under, 15/19, 20/29, 30/39, 40/49, 50/59, 60/69 and 70-and-over. 

Huffman encourages participants to dress in their favorite Christmas outfits: Santa, Elves, Reindeer, the Grinch etc.

This is the second year Rotary is sponsoring the event, which was started in 2007 by the Horry County chapter of the American Red Cross. 

“Rotary had been looking for a long-term event that we could use as a platform to raise money for local charities and give back to our Conway community,” Huffman said. 

Funds will benefit a variety of Rotary projects.

“Last year we built a wheelchair accessible ramp for a veteran who had recently suffered a stroke,” Huffman said. Rotary also funds scholarships for two local students to attend Coastal Carolina University and Horry Georgetown Technical College. We also distribute dictionaries to every third grade student in our area.”

Also, Rotary plans to use a portion of the proceeds this year to benefit local flood victims.

“Service Above Self is the Rotary motto,” Huffman said. “Our members live in and around Conway. Rotary members work hard to make our community the best place to live in Horry County.  

Kim Sauls is president of the Conway Rotary Club for 2018-19.  David Welborn is the 5K chairman.  


I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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