Santa’s arrival to start festive countdown

134521a'Boyes window and grotto'Getiing the window ready are,from left,Ernie Gee,Elaine Truman and Chris Golder'Picture by Neil Silk'07/11/13
134521a'Boyes window and grotto'Getiing the window ready are,from left,Ernie Gee,Elaine Truman and Chris Golder'Picture by Neil Silk'07/11/13
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Festive fun will get under way in Scarborough with the arrival of Father Christmas at the harbour this weekend.

The event, which normally attracts around 2,000 onlookers, signals the start of the Christmas build-up in town.

Santa will arrive by fishing boat at 11am and will make his way from West Pier up through the town centre to take up residence in his grotto at Boyes.

The grotto will open to the public when he arrives, which is expected to be between noon and 12.30pm.

Joining the procession from the seafront will be musicians, performers from the YMCA and Boyes staff dressed in Dickensian costumes.

Chris Golder, store manager at Boyes, said: “It’s always a good event. Everyone enjoys it and thousands of people come to watch.

“It does get busy so I’d advise people to come down early.”

The grotto will then be open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays, from November 16 to December 24.

It is free to walk through and see the attraction - the only charge is if you wish to buy a gift.

The tradition, which has been going on for decades in Scarborough, also incorporates a themed window display at Boyes which is now on show to the public.

Elaine Truman, who has been with the company for 41 years, has worked on the window and the grotto just about every Christmas.

But this year has been proving tricky as Elaine fell and broke the bone in her upper arm five weeks ago.

She said: “I can’t lift at the moment which has been difficult! But I suppose at least it’s my left side - it would have been worse if it was my right hand!”

Elaine, who designs and creates window displays in Scarborough as well as other branches, added that preparing the Christmas window and grotto is one of the highlights of the year.

The next major event in Scarborough’s festive calendar is the Christmas lights switch-on party, which will take place on Sunday November 24.

There will be music and entertainment in the town centre all day, with many shop owners setting up stalls outside their premises in Westborough.

Nick Taylor, investment manager at Scarborough Council, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response and we’re fully booked now, with around 40 stalls.

“It’s something local traders have been keen to do and it’s great to see it all coming together. We’re expecting it to be a very busy time.”

Mr Taylor is also organising a Christmas lights switch-on parade, which will start at 4pm.

The lights will come on gradually as the parade makes its way through the town centre.

The Scarborough News, in conjunction with Mr Taylor and Scarborough Council, is giving two lucky youngsters the chance to lead the parade with Father Christmas.

For more details on our “Be a Reindeer” competition, see page 5.

The festive market will continue in town during the weekends of December 7 and 8 and December 14 and 15.

The on the final weekend before Christmas, December 21 and 22, there will be a programme of music and other live entertainment in town.

Plans are also being finalised for a mini food festival in St Helen’s Square, in front of Scarborough Market Hall, which is likely to take place in early December.

Fundraising sleigh pulls are also being organised, with Scarborough Round Table inviting local charities and organisations to apply for a share of last year’s donations.

Spokesman Ben Kitto said: “The generosity of the people of Scarborough has produced a superb collection of around £3,000 which will be distributed back into the community during 2013/2014.

“The sleigh pull is truly a wonderful event - both inspirational in terms of the looks of wonder from children’s faces when they see Santa passing their house on a sleigh and also humbling when you witness the kindness and support people offer others by way of donations to help the less fortunate.”

The funds are to be put back into the local Scarborough community with particular focus on children and young people.

Ben added: “We would like to take this opportunity to invite any organisations who would like a share of the funds to apply to the Round Table and explain why they would like funds and what the funds will do in terms of helping their particular organisation or group.”

All applications for funds should be made following the application process found at www.facebook.com/scarboroughsleigh

The Round Table will start the 2013 Sleigh pull on Monday December 2 in Eastfield. Times and locations will be publicised in The Scarborough News and on the Round Table’s Facebook page.

Scarborough Round Table would like to thank the following for their support with the Santa Sleigh Pull: Andy Hire, P&L Sound and Lighting, The Opera House Casino and the army of “elves” who volunteer every year to help the door-to-door collection.