Santa wel­comed back to Beamish

Sunday Sun - - News - By Gor­don Barr gor­[email protected]­me­

Reporter FA­THER Christ­mas has ar­rived in style at Beamish Mu­seum.

For­get the rein­deer-drawn sleigh in night-time flight and those hushed land­ings on rooftops – Santa’s ar­rival was no se­cret and he certainly drew in the crowds.

Ev­ery year Fa­ther Christ­mas ar­rives in style for his stay at Beamish, he’s trav­elled there by RAF Sea King he­li­copter, by motorbike, on a fire engine, as part of a na­tiv­ity pa­rade with real camels and even been es­corted by uni­corns!

This year was no dif­fer­ent and the big fig­ure made his ap­pear­ance in show-stop­ping style at the County Durham mu­seum yes­ter­day in a pa­rade fea­tur­ing horses, huskies, fire en­gines, bands and period ve­hi­cles.

Fa­ther Christ­mas ar­rived on a horse-drawn car­riage be­fore trans­fer­ring to an open-top vin­tage bus for the lights count­down.

Crowds turned out to watch the pro­ces­sion through the streets of its 1900s Town ahead of the Christ­mas tree lights switch-on, and even Mrs Claus made an ap­pear­ance. Fa­ther Vis­i­tors en­joy the fun­fair at Beamish Mu­seum in County Durham Christ­mas led the count­down to the lights, sig­nalling the start of Beamish’s mag­i­cal fes­tive sea­son.

The pa­rade also in­cluded fire en­gines from the 1920s to the present day as well as horse-drawn car­riages, period ve­hi­cles and cy­cles.

Adding to the spec­ta­cle were char­ac­ters in costume and mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment pro­vided by the Bor­neo Band, Houghton Brass Band and the Beamish Choir.

Rein­deers were around too and joined Fa­ther Christ­mas when – post switch-on – he took up res­i­dence in a cosy Grotto at Pock­er­ley Wag­gonway for the fes­tive sea­son.

Christ­mas at Beamish will now run un­til De­cem­ber 24 and in­cludes Santa’s Grotto, Beamish Bazaar and, from De­cem­ber 27 un­til Jan­uary 6, daily Twelfth Night Cel­e­bra­tions (apart from New Year’s Day).

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