Thousands of revellers welcomed the festive season in Christmas costumes as they hit the streets over the weekend for a wild Santa pub crawl.
Saturday marked 25 years the Santa Claus Pub Crawl for Charity has been held in the New South Wales city of Wollongong with about 10,000 partygoers turning out for the event.
Money is raised for charity through donations and ticket sales with the only requirement being attendees wear something festive.
Popular costumes among the revellers included sexy Santas, elves, reindeer, and angels.
The event kicked off around midday with the crowd milling between various well-known Wollongong watering holes such as the North Wollongong Hotel and the Illawarra Brewery.
There were 22 pubs in total that participated in the festivities – recognised globally as one of the longest-running Santa-themed pub crawls.
Next year the pub crawl will merge into SantaFest, which is a three-day long festival for young and old that includes many non-drinking events.
The pub crawl was originally started by a small group of friends as a way of spreading the Christmas cheer and has grown into an event that pulls visitors from across the country and even abroad.
One of the friends who started the even was Neil Webster who was at the North Wollongong hotel on Saturday.
‘We just started it to have a bit of fun trying to change people’s Christmas spirit and it has grown into the massive beast that it is today,’ Webster told the Illawarra Mercury.
‘It’s an easy event to enjoy….who doesn’t enjoy the chance to dress up and spread a bit of Christmas cheer.
‘Us organisers also get a lot of pleasure from the fact we are raising funds for much needed charities.’
Wollongong police earlier in the week urged the massive crowds intending to hit the streets on Saturday to enjoy themselves safely.
Officers made sure they were highly visible during the event to remind the crowds to behave.
Tickets go for about $40 and last year over $129,000 was raised for disadvantaged children.