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It may not technically be the North Pole, but for one day every year, British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb ski resort looks the part, as skiers dressed as Santa and Mrs Claus pack the slopes.

The annual “Dress Like Santa Day”, this year held on 17 December, rewards the first 75 costumed Clauses with a free lift ticket (it normally costs $96). There’s no registration, but wearing more than a Santa cap is required. To qualify, participants must have red or black pants, a red jacket with white trim, a black belt, a red and white hat, and a white beard for those channelling St Nick. About 80 to 100 would-be Santas show up each year hoping for Christmas to come early.

By 8:30am, all the entrants hop on the lifts for one group Santa ski. At the bottom of the Emerald Express lift, the Clauses take a giant group photo and have the chance to win additional prizes like goggles, gloves and other ski essentials. The jolly fellows are then free to ski the rest of the 8,000-acre resort without needing to worry about who has been naughty and nice, at least for a few more days.

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