The annual open-top Santa Bus is returning for its 20th year.

Brighton and Hove Buses’ annual event will celebrate 20 routes over 20 nights to raise money for 20 different charities in a celebration of the anniversary.

The parade first started in 2003 when The Argus's Elsa Gillio approached the bus company with an idea of bringing festive cheer to the city’s streets.

An amazing partnership between the bus company and The Argus Appeal, the newspaper's charity arm, has created a Christmas legacy that has delighted generations.

The bus, which starts its parade on November 24, is decorated with 10,000 lights and plays festive music while Santa waves from the top deck.

It will visit more than 200 streets in Brighton and Hove.

The Argus: The Santa Bus will be going across the cityThe Santa Bus will be going across the city

Managing director for the bus company Ed Wills said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Santa Bus is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is testament to how popular it has become.

“Not everyone has access to their local grotto, and this is why the Santa Bus has become an annual institution providing a free way to see Santa Claus and spreading joy and festive cheer across the entire city.

“And let’s not forget how it also raises money for multiple local charities, only made possible with the generosity of everyone who volunteers and donates, as well as the support of local organisations and businesses.


“We owe a huge thank you to our customers and local communities for all their help and support.”

The Santa Bus has raised more than £380,000 since it first started.

Claire Kidd, Head of Fundraising at Martlets, said "We are reminded every day that life is precious, and we understand how important it is to make memories that matter with those we care about.

“The Santa Bus is one of these special, magical moments and Martlets is proud to have been part of this from the very beginning and excited to still be partnering, 20 years on, with Brighton & Hove buses and of course the one and only Santa Claus, for the 20th anniversary.”

The 20 chosen charities for this year are: Martlets, Chestnut Tree House, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Switchboard, Sussex Homeless Support, Impact Initiative, Grace Eyre, Choir With No Name, Take Shelter, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Racial Harassment Forum, The Hummingbird Project, Fareshare Sussex, ABC Fund, Trust for Developing Communities, Chomp, Rise, Team Domenica, Rainbow Fund and Moulsecoomb Forest Garden.