Five months ahead of the holidays, nearly 140 St. Nicks kicked off their three-day World Santa Claus Congress Monday, July 21, 2008, at Bakken -- the world's oldest amusement park -- north of Copenhagen, Denmark. Most were from Scandinavia, but some came from as far away as Russia, Japan and the United States.
Santas gather for a parade through Copenhagen Tuesday, July 22, 2008. Activities during the three-day World Santa Congress include the parade, "Yula Hoop" dancing and a dip in Copenhagen's harbor.
The best-loved character from Bakken, called Pjerrot, center, leads the parade of Santas through Copenhagen Tuesday, July 22, 2008. Delegates may go by a range of different names, from the French Papa Noel to the Danish Julemand, but according to park officials, "they are all real Santas."
Santas gather to make their way in a parade through Copenhagen Tuesday July 22, 2008. Now in it's 51st year, the World Santa Congress brings together 136 red-clad delegates, mostly from Scandinavia but also as far away as Russia, Japan and the United States.
People gather in the streets to watch a parade of Santas through Copenhagen Tuesday, July 22, 2008. Santas and their helpers from around the world gathered for Christmas merriment in the middle of summer for the 52nd consecutive year.
Women with children dressed in festive Santa Claus garb join the parade at Bakken amusement park in Copenhagen Monday, July 21, 2008. One of the day's highlights was the obstacle course in which some of the bearded Kris Kringles raced past a sleigh and up a small hill built of ice before climbing down a fake chimney.
Santa Clauses from around the world gather for their annual three-day World Santa Congress, in Copenhagen, Denamrk, July 21 2008. Later this week, the Santas plan to visit children in a hospital, cruise through the Danish capital in a sightseeing boat and hold tongue-in-cheek seminars about the 21st century challenges facing their vocation.