The inaugural Baton Rouge Running of the Santas was a success, with costumed Christmas characters running and walking through downtown Saturday.

The fun run started as Bob Dauterive, the event’s organizer and honorary “mayor of the North Pole,” led the runners in a countdown via megaphone before the participants set off down Third and Lafayette streets.

At “the South Pole,” as The Roux House was temporarily renamed, an outdoor tent party awaited thirsty runners. Clay LeBrun, of Baton Rouge, won the overall award for best costume, for his design reimagining Santa Claus as a pirate, complete with a candy-cane hook for a hand.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit That Others May Live Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support to the children and families of Air Force veterans killed in action.