CastleCourt has today announced its much-loved Christmas parade will return to the streets of Belfast city centre on Saturday, 17th November, officially marking the shopping centre’s month-long calendar of festive activity.
Ready to spread holiday cheer, the annual procession which has entertained thousands of families over two decades, is set to be bigger and better than ever before.
Setting off from Writer’s Square at 12noon, Santa will again lead this year’s exciting line-up in his brand-new train and sleigh, joined for the first time by Mrs. Claus and Rudolph the Reindeer. The trio will lead the magical parade past St. Anne’s Cathedral along Donegal Street, arriving at Royal Avenue at 12.30pm.
Families are invited to follow the parade, alongside an amazing line up of giant characters and riveting performers, including glistening snowmen, sparkling Christmas trees and the cast of Belfast Operatic’s Elf The Musical, which will give spectators an exclusive preview performance of their new Christmas production.
A second red train will complete the spectacle of wonder, with a 12-seater carriage which will choo-choo its way through the city centre, transporting elves and children, while two giant, white inflatable horses and an inflatable toy soldier is sure to delight spectators nationwide.
These will be complimented by a dazzling array of stilt-walking characters and his towering friends, including a juggling elf, ice-queen, grinch and Mrs. Christmas which will entertain kids at the entrance to CastleCourt whilst they herald Santa’s arrival at 12.30pm.
The procession will culminate at CastleCourt, where Santa will take up residence in this year’s fabulous grotto at 1.00pm, and delight thousands of visiting children and their families until 24th December.
Paul McMahon, Centre Manager at CastleCourt said:
“For more than 25 years, CastleCourt has signalled the official start of the Christmas season for thousands of families. Christmas is – and has always been – our biggest annual highlight and one which has been warmly adopted by the entire city of Belfast.
“At this special time, we are thrilled to once again kick off this year’s festive celebrations with an even bigger and better annual Christmas procession, led of course by the big man himself. At CastleCourt, we’re passionate about Belfast, our customers and our community, and we’re deeply proud to play such an important role to spread some festive cheer.
“We are incredibly excited about this year’s amazing line-up of entertainment, which promises to bring the city alive from 12noon right through to early evening.”
The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra will complete the day’s exciting programme of activity by performing contemporary renditions of Christmas classics on Royal Avenue’s stage from 2.00pm.
For more information, please visit www.castlecourt-uk.com
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Santa Parade – Key Timings
11.00-1.00pm – U105 Radio roadshow on Royal Avenue
11.30-1.30pm – stilt-walking entertainment at CastleCourt
11.30am-5.00pm – face painting in CastleCourt next to Customer Relations Desk
12noon-12.30pm – Santa parade commences at Writers Square opposite Cathedral, proceeds up Donegall Street, turns left onto Royal Avenue
12.30-1.00pm – Santa meets & greets shoppers in CastleCourt mall
1.00pm – Santa takes up residence in his Grotto in CastleCourt
2.00pm – Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform on Royal Avenue