Thousands of seasonal revellers are expected to come flocking to Llangollen today for the town’s annual Christmas Festival.
Kicking off at 1pm with the famous parade which sees Sion Corn - the Welsh Santa – being escorted into town over its historic bridge by a colourful cavalcade of entertainers and local groups, the event features children’s fairground rides and games, circus acts, a magician, dancing and face painting.
There will also be a chance for youngsters to visit Sion Corn in his glorious grotto and put in their early requests from what they’d like to see him bring them on Christmas morning.
During the afternoon visitors can look forward to an eclectic mix of musical entertainment from local groups on two outdoor stages and other on-street entertainment.
The fun-packed day rounds off at 5pm the ceremonial switching on of Llangollen’s legendary Christmas lights and a firework extravaganza.
Llangollen Christmas Festival is organised by a group of dedicated community volunteers. It costs over £4,000 to stage each year and is self-funding.
The festival aims to provide a free family-orientated event in the safety of the town centre with surplus funds donated to Wales Air Ambulance and local community groups.
Over the last couple of years the police have estimated that the spectacular event attracts over 2,000 people into town during the course of the afternoon.
For the second year the festival has teamed up with Light Up Local Food, a project aimed at promoting Llangollen-based food and drink producers.
Chairman of the festival committee Austin ‘Chem’ Cheminais, who is also the local town crier and a member of the town council, said: “With the help of the community we manage, each year, to raise just about enough to fund the event and give a little to charity.
“Last year’s festival was particularly successful, in spite of the weather, and the feedback from those attending was very positive.
“The ‘market’ feel to the event provided by Light UP Local Food was particularly commented upon and helped to attract visitors from much further afield.
“Once again we’re expecting a bumper crowd to come along and help us to give a great early start to Christmas.”