Father Christmas will arrive in spectacular style at Beamish Museum this Saturday, November 17, in a festive parade.
The procession will feature everything from steam and sleighs to huskies, horses, period vehicles and marching bands.
Visitors will then gather round the Christmas tree and count down to the lights switch-on, signalling the start of Christmas at Beamish, which runs from November 17 to December 24.
Father Christmas will then take up residence in his Grotto at Pockerley Waggonway, where he’ll stay until December 24, along with his magical reindeer.
The grand parade starts at 1pm from Pockerley Waggonway, and will travel through The 1900s Town to the Fairground Christmas tree. Father Christmas will ride in a sleigh pulled by a steam traction engine, while Mrs Claus’ sleigh will be hauled by huskies.
Fire engines and Beamish vehicles will be joined by cars from the North of England Classic & Pre-War Automobiles Motoring Club and horse-drawn carriages.
The Borneo Band, Newton Aycliffe Pipe Band and the Beamish Choir will provide festive music, while the Friends of Beamish will be riding cycles and motorbikes.
During Christmas at Beamish, visitors can travel back in time to experience Christmas past and join in Georgian, Edwardian and 1940s festivities. Visitors can glide on the real ice rink at the Winter Fun Fair, browse the stalls at the Christmas Bazaar in The Town park, see the traditional decorations in the houses and shops, and indulge in festive food and drink.
Paul Foster, Historic Events Officer, said: “We’re all really excited to be welcoming Father Christmas to Beamish with this fantastic parade. There’ll be everything from sleighs to steam, huskies to horses, music to motors and, of course, Santa and Mrs Claus.
“What better way to launch Christmas at Beamish? Come along and join in the fantastic traditional celebrations.”
After Christmas, Beamish’s Twelfth Night Celebrations will take place from December 27 to January 6, when visitors can enjoy traditional pantomime,
music, dancing, food and first-footing (closed New Year’s Day).
Christmas at Beamish daytimes and Twelfth Night Celebrations are included in admission to Beamish and are free for Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members.
Beamish Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm, with last admission 3pm (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).