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Friday, November 15, 2013

Santa swaps sleigh for raft to shoot the Dee rapids

Santa and his crew brave the rapids of the River Dee
to promote Llangollen’s Christmas Festival.
Picture by courtesy of Obrien Photography UK.

* A hairy moment for Santa and one of his elves.
Picture by courtesy of Obrien Photography UK.

SANTA shot the rapids on a fast-flowing River Dee to make a spectacular early visit to Llangollen on Tuesday.
The grand old man braved the raging waters to paddle his raft a couple of miles down the raging river accompanied by a team of his trusty helpers.

Their intrepid waterborne trip came as a prelude to the town’s annual Christmas Festival, which takes place this year on Saturday, November 30.
The raft was loaned especially for the occasion by locally-based White Water Tubing and on board was Santa himself, who bore an uncanny resemblance to former Llangollen Chamber of Trade and Tourism John Palmer, his chief elf, who looked a lot like current chamber chairman Davis Davies, and a couple of deputy Santas one of whom was a lookalike for Llangollen town crier Austin Cheminais.
Santa said: “As the prospect of snow is not very promising, making it difficult for Rudolph and the rest of the team to pull me, I was looking for alternative ways of getting into Llangollen. 

“With all the rain we have had these last few weeks the river looked like a good alternative, so White Water Tubing offered to take me and a couple of elves to see if it was possible.

“We decided to start from the Horseshoe Falls to get some practice before the dreaded Town Falls and eventually reached Riverside Park.

“The water crashed and boiled but we battled on through.

“It was super fun and certainly beats dashing through the snow in one horse open sleigh.”

The Christmas Festival, which is expected to attract at least 2,000 people, 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.
The big parade starts from Mill Street car park at 1pm and later Santa and his Welsh counterpart SiƓn 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.

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.

Around 20 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.

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