Santa heads to Hartlepool + win a VIP trip on his sleigh

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A very important guest is getting ready to come to Hartlepool - and he’ll be staying in town until just before Christmas.

Santa Claus makes his grand arrival at the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool on Sunday, November 22.

We are very much looking forward to the opening of Santa’s Grotto as we launch the festive season at the centre. It’s always a popular event, with great support from our local partners. We invite all shoppers to come along and enjoy the festivities

Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange centre manager

Mark Rycraft, the manager of the Middleton Grange Centre, said: “We are very much looking forward to the opening of Santa’s Grotto as we launch the festive season at the centre.

“It’s always a popular event, with great support from our local partners. We invite all shoppers to come along and enjoy the festivities.”

The fun programme of events kicks off at 11am with music and games which will be provided by Radio Hartlepool.

Santa will arrive and start his ever popular Christmas procession through the centre from 12pm.

He will make his way to the grotto where he will start meeting children from 12.30pm.

There will also be live music from the Bishop Auckland Pipe Band and Christmas characters from local charity Red Dreams.

On top of all that, Hartlepool Round Table will be distributing tasty treats.

Santa’s grotto will be open every Thursday to Sunday and then daily from December 21 to Christmas Eve. Opening times are 10.30am to 4.30pm and a visit with Santa plus a toy for each child is £3.

The festivities continue on Sunday, December 6, when Middleton Grange hosts an event called Do It Your Elf from 11am – 4pm.

Children can meet fun characters Andy Elf, Festive Fix It and Bauble Bling and enjoy bauble making crafts.

Win a trip on on Santa’s sleigh

How would you like to take a front seat on Santa’s sleigh?

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre welcomes Father Christmas on Sunday, November 22. One lucky winner gets to ride with Santa and be first to see him in his grotto.

Send a letter by November 16 stating why you should be on the nice list. Santa and his helpers will select one lucky winner. The prize includes:

•Joining Santa as he makes his way through the centre to open his grotto at noon;

•Being the first to visit Santa in his grotto;

•A hamper of Christmas toys/goodies from Middleton Grange;

•Two tickets to breakfast with Santa.

To stand a chance of winning:

•Tell us why you should be on the nice list in 100 words, entries to be submitted by November 16;

•Give us the child’s name and that of the parent/guardian.

•Include a contact number.

Letters should be posted to: Suzanne Chaney, Retail Executive, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, TS24 7RZ.