* The opening parade at last year's Christmas Festival.
Santa himself turned up at the monthly meeting of Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism in the Hand Hotel on Monday night to give members details of the town’s Christmas festival this year.
Looking suspiciously like former chamber chairman John Palmer under a big white beard, he said that, as usual, the event was all about bringing together the Llangollen community and supporting local businesses.
The festival, planned for Saturday, November 30, will feature a parade, street stalls, raffles, a grotto, an appearance by Llangollen Silver Band, carol singing and the ceremonial switch-on of the Christmas lights.
Santa said the festival was expected to attract around 2,000 people to the town on what would otherwise be a quiet November Saturday.
He added: “It will help the community but a donation will also be made to Hope House Hospice.”The big parade starts from Mill Street car park at 1pm and later Santa and his Welsh counterpart Siôn Corn will be on hand to meet young visitors in their grotto inside the Town Hall.
Entertainment will this year be centred on the steps of the library and tourist information centre as well as in the Royal Gardens just across the road.
Santa explained that the Royal Hotel had given special permission for the shop at the corner of its premises to be used for Punch and Judy shows and story-telling sessions for youngsters.Chamber chairman David Davies said that, up to now, 18 shops and businesses in the town had agreed to join in a search-for-the-sheep competition in which people will be asked to locate the small woollen animals and give each one a name.
The lights will be switched on at 5pm followed by a firework display.