If you asked for some half-naked runners for Christmas, you’re in luck, because a whole gaggle is descending upon Portland just in time for the holiday.

The 2015 Santa Speedo Run will take to the streets of Northwest Portland next Saturday, Dec. 19, encouraging runners to bare (almost) everything as they jog through the chilly afternoon.

It will undoubtedly be a shocking sight to some, but by Portland standards, this is nothing too outrageous. It’s as if the World Naked Bike Ride, Santacon and a boozy Portland footrace got together for a rollicking good time – all for charity, of course.

2014 Santa Speedo Run brings holiday cheer

The Santa Speedo Run in Portland is officially a fundraiser for the Ethiopa Project, a local organization that collects a couple thousand newish shoes each year, then packs them up and ships them – along with humanitarian supplies – to various regions of Ethiopia.

Last year more than 60 runners showed up for the run, raising $3,000 for the nonprofit.

The organization started the winter event in 2009 as a local offshoot of the original Santa Speedo Run, which started at a Boston bar in 2000. That tradition started when five guys, regulars of The Sevens bar, decided to start some holiday cheer by running through Boston’s high-end shopping district in the middle of December, wearing nothing but Santa hats, Santa beards and Speedos.

At the Portland run, organizers encourage participants to run, walk or “parade” through the streets, dressed in “scantily clad holiday apparel” – not necessarily Speedos.

Drinking beforehand isn’t necessary, but it’s certainly part of the tradition. Registered runners receive up to four complimentary brews from Deschutes Brewery before stripping down and taking to the streets. And for those who don’t have a taste for beer, the “warm up” before the run just so happens to take place at the Cerulean Wine Bar in the Pearl District.

Between the beer, the running and the public near-nudity, this has to be on somebody’s wish list in Portland.

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When: Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m.
Where: Cerulean Wine Bar (map it)
Registration: $30 to $40 (plus fees); register online

–Jamie Hale | jhale@oregonian.com | @HaleJamesB

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