Shoppers in Hartlepool are gearing up for the biggest arrival of the year.
Father Christmas will take up residence in his grotto at Middleton Grange shopping centre this weekend.
Once again families can look forward to a host of entertainment, including performances by talented dancers, festive music and a high flying display by cheerleaders as the countdown to Christmas officially begins.
Taking place on Sunday, Santa will make his grand entrance in to Centre Square on his sleigh.
He will be accompanied by a host of friends including The Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Allan Barclay, the Bishop Auckland Pipe Band, members of the Hartlepool Hawks Cheerleading Academy, Nadine’s Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, and Kyle’s Dreams.
Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange centre manager, said: “Christmas is our favourite time of year at the centre and we’re all really looking forward to welcoming Father Christmas here once again.
“The parade is always an opportunity for the community to come together at such a lovely time of year and celebrate his arrival to the town.”
Radio Hartlepool will kick the festivities off at 10am along with the Hawks, who will perform a range of their dazzling dance and stunt routines to help warm the crowd up in preparation of Santa’s arrival.
Visitors will also be able to see students from Nadine’s Academy of Dance and Performing Arts pull off some of their spectacular moves alongside a selection of performances from musicians at Kyle’s Dreams.
The man in the red suit will make his grand appearance at 11.45am and be guided in on his sleigh by members of the Hartlepool Round Table on elf duty.
The parade will start from Wilkos and proceed through the centre.
The event always proves popular with families attracting hundreds of people to join in the fun.
Mark added: “We are very proud to be offering one of the best Christmas experiences in the region, which is enjoyed by so many.
“The parade coupled with the fantastic live entertainment will make this festive fun a show to remember.”
The grotto will be open every Thursday through to Sunday until December 24 and official photographs capturing this magic moment can also be purchased.
Shoppers can buy their tickets to see Santa from the grotto itself for £3.50 per child, which includes a visit and present.