Halifax actor John Dunsworth, also known as Mr. Lahey of Trailer Park Boys fame, is heading to Sweden to compete in the Santa Winter Games.

Dunsworth is boarding a plane Wednesday for the competition to be named the world's classiest Kris Kringle, the most sensational St. Nick and most fabulous Father Christmas.

He's Canada's official representative and will compete with red-suited rivals from around the world in events such as:

  • Reindeer racing.
  • Chimney climbing.
  • Present wrapping.
  • Porridge eating.
  • Santa sack races.

Dunsworth is confident he'll sleigh the competition. He first donned the white beard 40 years ago at a Halifax shopping mall.

"I was a pretty good Santa, even if I say so myself," said Dunsworth. "Most of the kids who sat on my knee in the Simpson's Mall were thoroughly convinced of it. For the past few years I've played drunken Mr. Lahey Santa on the Trailer Park Boys live Christmas tour. He's more of a naughty Santa for adults."

'I've given up cigarettes and I'm up to 16 pushups every morning.' - John Dunsworth

He promises a more sober interpretation in the Swedish town of Gällivare, just north of the Arctic Circle. The region is also known as Lapland, the area many Europeans say is Santa's home.

Global elite

The event takes place on Nov. 23 and this year there will be 14 Santas from around the world competing for the title of Top Santa. Dunsworth will be facing Santas from Sweden, Norway, Spain, Holland, France, Brazil, Columbia, China, and Japan.
 
"I've given up cigarettes and I'm up to 16 pushups every morning and I even ran nearly one hundred yards today," Dunsworth boasted.

"Last week I went to Santa University in Calgary and graduated with honours, albeit with a half dozen naughty stamps on the back of my right hand."

On the competition website, "Santa John Canada" lists his favourite non-porridge meal as Coca-Cola and peanut butter.

Even if he fails to bring home the top prize to Canada, Dunsworth will have the consolation of a documentary called Santa Quest that he’s filming.