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Show-stopping Santa is back! Oh, yes he is

SPECTACULAR processions and the man with a bushy white beard, red jacket and a Santa clause in his contract are heading for Swansea next month.

Santa Claus logo

The countdown to Christmas officially starts on November 18 and from 4pm, the city centre will come alive with an extravaganza of colour, music, dancing and the famous festive lights switch-on all under the gaze of Santa himself.

This year he'll be starring in his very own Time Travelling Adventure along a new city centre route between Princess Way and the Kingsway. The procession featuring floats, dancers, clowns and choirs will not be quite like a traditional parade but it's bound to be both special and spectacular thanks to amazing special effects on show.

Swansea's community will be supporting Santa in his travelling adventures as he will be joined by dance and theatre troupes including Rising Stars Theatre Company, Mellin Theatre Arts and Dani Dee School of Dance. They'll be accompanying procession spectacles boasting amazing new technology and special effects designed to transport onlookers to Christmases past, present and future.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Innovation, Regeneration and Tourism, said: "Swansea is rightly very proud of its festive countdown. It really is the curtain-raiser for Christmas and this year's switch-on is going to be amazing.

"It's literally going to be a show-stopper with the processional Christmas show stopping at set-piece locations on the route.

"And this year, for the first time, people who want to participate in the event will have the chance to join a choir or sign-up for Santa's Elf School. Local people taking centre stage will make sure it's truly a community spectacular."

In total there will be five choirs plus professional musicians and soloists including West End Star, Christina Modestou (Six the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors - Open Air Theatre). World-renowned clowns Tom and Pepe will be leading Santa's little helpers on a merry dance.

Crowds will start gathering for the pre-event entertainment from 4pm and at 5pm the main event begins its journey. The four show stopping areas along the route will be encouraging spectator singalongs.

Starting at Princess Way Santa's brand new sleigh will be getting its first public outing, hauled by reindeer the size of buses. Santa's Time Travelling Adventure then heads along Princess Way, Caer Street and College Street before finally reaching journey's end on lower Kingsway.

The event features a range of work by local Welsh artists including metalwork constructions by Art in Steel's Alan Ross and stained glass designs by House of Ugly Fish. Performers will be costumed by Cwtch Costumes and sound will provided by local company Total Sound.

Kingsway roadworks are being lifted ahead of the event and will re-start in the New Year.

Those who want to take part in the show stoppers have the opportunity to join in as members of the Choir of Opportunity project enabling people who would not normally have access to music and singing with the opportunity to work with a professional musical director, building confidence and technique and working towards performing on the night.

Elf School led by New York clowning maestros Tom and Pepe will take place at the Brangwyn Hall on 12th, 14th and 16th November.

To find out more about the Elf School or the Choir of Opportunity visit eurekawales.com

For details about the event visit www.swanseachristmas.com

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