A SOUTH Tyneside man is marking his 18th year as a professional Santa with a festive family party.
Darren Johnson is inviting people young and old to join him as he celebrates hitting the milestone.
His party, which will also feature a range of characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse will take place on Thursday at Hedworth Hall, in Dean Road, South Shields.
The event, starting at 5pm, will also be raising funds for Cancer Connections and the Grace House Appeal.
Mr Johnson, said: “To be honest, I’m not sure how all this started, but it did and here I am 18 years later.
“I’ve done so much over those 18 years from switching on Christmas Lights all over the North East, to helping put the smiles on kids’ faces at Christmas, by delivering presents to hospitals, and also to the homes of children.
“Over the last 18 years I have so many changes around Christmas, which is why I wanted to do something traditional by hosting a family Christmas party, to remind people it’s not just about the presents, but about bringing everyone together to have fun.”
The night will see youngsters have the chance to meet Santa, take part in traditional party games and receive a gift from the main man himself.
Tickets for the night are priced £10, with one adult going free.
The ticket price includes refreshments and a present.
Tickets must be bought in advance from either the Hedworth Hall or from Mr Johnson himself, by contacting 07787 732 161.