Santa Claus is coming to Hartlepool as festivities launch this weekend at Middleton Grange

Christmas is set to start as Father Christmas will be taking up residence at Middleton Grange this weekend.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 4:45 pm

Santa will make his grand entrance into the shopping centre on his sleigh, accompanied by a host of friends, including The Mayor of Hartlepool, Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, Nadine’s Academy of Dance and Performing Arts and Miss Toni’s Academy Choir.

Nadine’s Academy of Dance will launch festivities at 10am on Sunday, November 17, followed by Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts’ students, who will perform a range of their dance and stunt routines to help warm the crowd up in preparation for the arrival of Santa himself.

At 11.30am, Santa will be escorted by Aycliffe & Brancepeth Brass Band and the festive throng will then make its way through the centre from Wilkos to Centre Square to meet his adoring fans.

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Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange Centre Manager, said: “Christmas is our favourite time of the 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.”

Once the procession has landed at Centre Square, Santa will take up residence in his grotto which has been sponsored by local charity Miles for Men where shoppers can buy their tickets to see him from the grotto itself for £3 per child, which includes a visit and present.

This will be open every Thursday through to Tuesday until December 24 and official photographs capturing this magic moment can also be purchased.

Kelly Pearson, charity treasurer for Miles for Men, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in this year’s Santa’s Parade. The turnout on the day is fantastic and is such a great way to bring the community together to enjoy all the festivities it brings.

“The support we have received from the people of Hartlepool since we launched our store at Middleton Grange has been incredible and has really helped increase, not only our fundraising but also drive awareness of the services we provide.

“This is our way of saying thank you to everyone who has visited our store.”