* Sion Corn tries his first trip down a chimney in Llangollen after his summer break.
With Christmas just around the corner Sion Corn – the Welsh Santa – reckoned it was time to start practising for his busiest night of the year.
So when he dropped in to Llangollen to discuss his appearance at the town’s Christmas Festival this year he took the opportunity to scramble over a roof to the nearest chimney and take a dive down it.
“With so many chimneys to negotiate on a single night I obviously have to keep in trim and being in Llangollen to discuss their festival gave me the perfect opportunity for a little practice routine,” said the grand old man.
“I’m glad to say it went very well and I didn’t get stuck halfway down which is always a possibility if you’ve put on a few extra pounds over the summer.”
He added: “I’ll be coming back to Llangollen shortly to practice my arrival at the festival and I’ve come up with a couple of real show-stoppers.”
Thousands of seasonal revellers are expected to come flocking to Llangollen for the annual Christmas Festival on Saturday November 30.
Kicking off at 1pm with the famous parade which sees Sion Corn being escorted into town over the historic bridge by a colourful cavalcade of entertainers and local groups, the event features children’s fairground rides, food stalls, choirs, craft stalls, circus acts 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 with 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 being donated to Wales Air Ambulance and local community groups.
Over the last couple of years the police have estimated that the spectacular event draws over 2,000 people into town during the course of the afternoon.
For the third 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 thanks to the good 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.”
Festival organisers have also arranged for free parking throughout the day at local car parks.