By Ian Dipple Thursday 17 October 2013 Updated: 18/10 07:46
FATHER Christmas and his reindeer will be paraded through the streets of Redditch as part of a revamp of the borough’s festive celebrations.
The traditional Christmas lights switch on has been replaced with a five week programme of events starting on Saturday, November 23 when about 100 people, including carol singers, stilt walkers and performers, will take part in a special Santa Parade. It will escort Father Christmas through Church Green and into Worcester Square where visitors will be able to have their picture taken with his real reindeer before he takes his place in his grotto outside Debenham’s.
It will be followed on December 5 with a bell ringing concert in the Kingfisher Centre as well as a carol service inside St Stephen’s Church.
There will be a special celebrity visit - the identity of which is being kept under wraps - on December 7 and a day later a Santa Dash around the town centre will take place in aid of the Primrose Hospice with Heart FM breakfast presenters Ed James and Rachel New handing out medals to those taking part.
A special three day Christmas market with food and crafts on offer takes place on December 12 to 14 and the weekend before Christmas on December 21 there will be a series of festive community performances before Bjorn the Polar Bear, an animatronic creation which interacts with people, visits on December 22.
Festive surprises will also be on offer for those who view the centre’s Christmas lights using special Christmas glasses.
Further details of the programme, devised by the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Redditch Town Centre Partnership, will be released nearer the time.
Ken Williams, centre manager and current chair of the TCP, said: “This is a step change for the town and the centre.
“This year we’ve worked with a number of partners to bring the community together and make Christmas not just a one day event but five weeks of activity where people can come in to the town centre and celebrate with us.”
Christmas will be coming extra early to the Kingfisher Centre this year as the festive decorations will be installed from October 31.
Mr Williams admitted it was earlier than they would have liked but the availability of the company putting up the lights meant it could not be done another time.
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