Santa Claus is vrooming to town.
You’ve seen Santa on a motorcycle before, but have you seen thousands of Santas riding thousands of motorcycles? It’s a veritable sea of Santas! For the sixth consecutive year, Unlimited Racing Bikes in Barcelona, Spain organized its annual Papanoelada Barcelona event. Exact numbers are unclear, but in 2018, an estimated 5,000 motorcycles and 7,000 riders participated.
The video above is from 2017, because you can hear the bikes MUCH better, and RideApart is, after all, a motorcycle site. Here’s the available video from 2019, which unfortunately is super quiet. Still, thousands of riders dressed up as Santa rolling through Barcelona on a pre-arranged parade route is a fantastic sight to see this time of year—and, let’s face it, every year.
Gallery: Papanoelada Barcelona
Naturally, they’re all bringing toys to sick children, and at least one gift per person attending is recommended. Toys and books for children from ages 0 to 14—and especially toys for children under one year of age—were requested, and brought to the Red Cross for distribution to children at local hospitals.
All types of motorcycles are welcome at this event every year, as long as everything is properly licensed and registered. Scooters, choppers, trikes, sportbikes—all you need is a Santa suit, some toys, fuel for the ride, and plenty of good cheer.
Every year, other local businesses help URB pull this off. This year’s event happened on December 15, 2019, and was scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. As in past years, thousands of bikes showed up to flood the streets of Barcelona with holiday spirit, so it wouldn’t be a total surprise if the time ran over what was originally scheduled.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone in Barcelona loves this event, so of course, there is some public debate about whether it should continue in the future. Rider solidarity for good causes is generally something we applaud, so here’s hoping a few grinches don’t ruin it for everyone.