Santa Claus is coming to Middleton Grange! And here’s his programme of fun

Santa's coming back to Middleton Grange.
Santa's coming back to Middleton Grange.

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s got a big day lined up.

Dancers, bagpipes and magic tricks are all part of Father Christmas’s grand arrival at the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool on Sunday.

Big crowds are expected for Santa's arrival this year.

Big crowds are expected for Santa's arrival this year.

The fun gets under way from 11am and shopping centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “Every year, it is a really successful event and it has become a major part of the start of Christmas at Middleton Grange. 
“Santa’s arrival started nine years ago with Hartlepool Round Table and it has grown every year since.

“We have got grown-ups now who remember the initial Santa’s arrival of past years. It is becoming part of the recipe of Christmas in Hartlepool.”

The programme begins with Radio Hartlepool keeping the crown entertained from 11am.

From 11.30am, dancers from the Val Armstrong School Of Performing Arts will be performing for 20 minutes, before making their way to the area near Wilko’s where the parade will start.

Santa’s arrival is becoming part of the recipe of Christmas in Hartlepool

Mark Rycraft

Santa will be brought in to meet his sleigh at 11.45am and his procession to his grotto will begin at noon.

The ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Coun Rob Cook, will lead the full procession followed by the Val Armstrong students.

Also involved will be representatives of Red Dreams, the Bishop Auckland Pipes and Drums, and the sleigh which will be pulled by the Round Table with Santa Claus and Alfie Smith, nine, on board.

Alfie has cerebral palsy which affects his arms and legs and he is unable to walk unaided. The condition regularly leaves the youngster, who has a passion for football, in severe pain.

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie and his family are currently trying to raise £50,000 to enable him to undergo a life-changing operation to enable him to walk for the first time.

Once Santa is escorted to his grotto, Round Table officials will hand out chocolates; and the entertainment will continue with magician Tony Junior doing juggling and magic tricks.

Mr Rycraft revealed another highlight, adding: “We have created an Arctic wonderland which is free to walk through.

“There is a charge to see Santa but the Arctic wonderland is free to walk through.”

Santa always makes a big impression at Middleton Grange.

Santa always makes a big impression at Middleton Grange.