There’s no ‘Claus’ for concern despite Santa being spotted in South Tyneside – before summer is even out.
The festive feeling arrived early with a sneak preview of South Tyneside Council’s yuletide plans.
Dressed in his familiar flash of red and white, the special guest turned up just in time to hear about plans for the Christmas Wonderland 2013.
It’s set to be another Christmas cracker with highlights including a dazzling lights display at St Hilda’s Garden, which will boast a glowing Santa, reindeer and trees, a Christmas Fair selling gifts, food and crafts, a school Christmas card competition, a specially-erected grotto at South Shields Museum and a seasonal-themed weekend at South Shields Market.
The yuletide season is always celebrated in style in South Tyneside, with a raft of events to ensure residents enjoy their share of seasonal cheer.
Christmas Lights switch ons in Hebburn, Jarrow and South Shields attracted thousands of visitors eager to get in a merry mood last year and will be a major part of the holiday programme in 2013.
Britain’s Got Talent finalists, Loveable Rogues, had the honour of flicking on the festive lights in South Shields last year.
The Christmas period is always a big hit with residents and businesses alike, and council chiefs are eager for this year’s celebrations to be bigger and better than ever.
Santa met up with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley, and the council’s deputy leader, Coun Alan Kerr to discuss the bumper line-up of events coming to the borough.
Coun Gibson said: “South Tyneside has a bumper line-up of events in store for Christmas 2013.
“Santa seemed impressed with what we have planned and we hope that visitors from across the North East and further afield will be too.”
The authority is set to announce more details for the Christmas Wonderland 2013 in the weeks to come.
The activities will be part of a wider programme of events running across South Tyneside, including the annual pantomime at the Customs House arts centre, gift fairs at Bede’s World and Souter Lighthouse, Santa’s Christmas party at the Dunes and Santa’s winter wonderland at West Boldon lodge.
n Cracking out for Christmas ... Page 6