• Sweden edition
 
Dutch crooner named Santa of the Year
Santa winter Sinter Klas Stefan; Santa Mario from Hong Kong rides the bull

Dutch crooner named Santa of the Year

Published: 21 Nov 2011 16:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Nov 2011 16:12 GMT+01:00

“It feels great, I really didn't expect it. Now I have to come back and defend my title next year,” 24-year-old Santa champion Sinter Klas Stefan Veronderd of The Netherlands told the local Norrbottens Kuriren newspaper after claiming his prize.

Veronderd bested eight other competitors from as far afield as Japan, France, and Colombia to win the eighth installment of what is considered the unofficial Santa Claus world championships.

Prior to the competition he told the organizers that his tactics included being the "merriest, youngest and best trained Santa" as well as winning the jury over with his "charming 'hohoho' laughter".

While events such as porridge eating, the Santa-sack race, and Candy Cane spree went off without a hitch, a lack of snow forced organizers to cancel the reindeer riding competition, traditionally a crowd favourite.

Even though a dusting of snow arrived just ahead of the start of the competition to coat the streets of Gällivare, the sprinkling of white stuff still wasn't enough to bring out the animals that traditionally pull Santa's sleigh.

“This is the first time in 63 years we didn't have enough snow cover this time of year,” Mattias Svalenström of the Gällivare tourist office told The Local.

“The contestants were shocked. But we decided to have them ride a mechanical bull instead. The event drew a lot of laughs and was appreciated by contestants and onlookers alike.”

All the competitors, many of whom had been crowned the official Santa of their respective countries, did a solid job at channeling the spirit of jolly old St. Nick, according to Svalenström.

But the eventual champion outclassed the rest of the Santa pack through his rendition of “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” in the Santa Karaoke competition.

“He was very, very good,” Svalenström said.

“He started off with an opera falsetto and really got the crowd on his side.”

Svalenström explained that participants in the Santa competition are chosen in part from attendees at a global Santa congress held every summer in Denmark.

“But our event has become so well known that we get applications all year long.”

While organizers prefer that contestants' facial hair is genuine, having a home-grown shaggy white beard isn't a prerequisite.

“I mean, you can't come here in a silly mask, but a fake beard is OK,” said Svalenström.

“Sometimes its harder for the Asian Santas to produce the sort of facial hair growth one usually associates with Santa.”

He added that the organizers and competitors alike take the event very seriously.

“There aren't any cigarettes or alcohol,” Svalenström said.

“They are here to be Father Christmas and be a good role model for children.”

The winner of the competition is chosen by a three-member jury consisting of a local city official, Gällivare's own official Santa, and by the person who serves as the competition mascot.

Related links:

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

23:18 November 21, 2011 by dutchgirl78
His name can't be "Sinter Klas" Stefan Veronderd. Google "Sinterklaas". It's the Dutch version of Santa...
13:30 November 22, 2011 by Stefan Veroude
Dear Swedish people!

To be exactly correct it's Santa HOLLAND, Stefan Veroude...

It was a joy to enter this competition and me and my helper will definitely enter the games next Year.

With kind regards, Santa Holland

Merry X-mas to You all hohohohohoooooo

contact: info@degroenebril.nl
23:50 November 22, 2011 by Camiio Romero
Santa Holland, You did a great job!!

See you next year!

Regards

Santa Camilo
Today's headlines
Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Palestinians in Gaza last month. Photo: Adel Hana

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

Business & Money
Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall
A Vattenfall plant in Germany. Photo: TT

Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has reported losses for the third quarter in a row. READ  

International
Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza
Malala receives the Children's Prize from Queen Silvia. Photo: TT

Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza

UPDATED: Girls' rights champion Malala Yousafzai, who was in Sweden to accept the World's Children's Prize on Wednesday, said she would use all her winnings to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza. READ  

Swedish Honeymoon Killing
Cape Town 'fixer' phoned Dewani before killing
Dewani in a Cape Town court. Photo: TT

Cape Town 'fixer' phoned Dewani before killing

A man jailed for killing British businessman Shrien Dewani's wife during their Cape Town honeymoon said on Wednesday they spoke shortly before the murder to discuss payment. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

994
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN