Taking place on Saturday 3rd December, this year our event will sadly not feature any reindeer, but never fret – Santa will now greet the children of Llanelli from his swanky new festive tuktuk instead!
Organised by Ymlaen Llanelli since 2016, the parade sees a host of characters including princesses, superheroes, bands and more take to the streets to help ring in the seasonal spirit. The procession begins from Ffwrnes Theatre at 12pm and makes its way along Park Street, Bridge Street, Vaughan Street and Stepney Street, before culminating in Spring Gardens.
The departure of the reindeer from the parade comes due to a decision by the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd, which the only free-ranging herd in Britain and has been a long-standing partner of the parade for over 15 years. The company decided earlier this year to no longer travel further than Manchester for Christmas events, following the success of its reserve centre at home in Scotland.
Chair of Ymlaen Llanelli, Lesley Richards, said she understood the Herd’s decision: “The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd have been amazing to work with over the years, and we’re incredibly thankful for all the parades they’ve attended and helped make so magical. The whole of Llanelli town centre will miss them dearly, but the show must go on! In true Ymlaen Llanelli style, our solution is wacky and wonderful – where else will you see Santa in a tuktuk?!
“The highlight of the parade is always the look on the kids’ faces as they see all their favourite characters and Santa Claus himself making their way into town, and that will be just as special this year as it is every other year. We can’t wait to see you all on the day!”
There will be market stalls and hot street food along Stepney Street as part of the event, and a stage in Stepney Square, with Llanelli School of Music and Drama kicking off with some live music at 11am. There will then be a break for the parade itself at 12pm, and more music from Sarah Kate and the Thrillionaires until 3pm.
The event is free to attend, with a whole load of more activities on throughout the town centre to coincide with the day. There will be free crafts by A Taste of Times Past from 10am to 3pm in St Elli Shopping, with Christmas biscuit decorating and lantern-making on the plan for the day, while Santa’s Grotto opens in the Centre from 10am.
Llanelli Library will also be holding Christmas craft activities all day, and have a special postbox set up for children to post their letters to the North Pole.
There will be small businesses abound too, as Foothold Cymru host Christmas Around the World in EJ’s from 10am to 2pm, and the Ffwrnes Theatre hold their Christmas Fair from 11am to 4pm.
Check out our promo video here, and download our poster below to get ready for the day!
The Llanelli Christmas Nutcracker Trail is also back up and running as another bit of festive fun! Ten of the marvelous festive window displays in businesses across the town centre have a special nutcracker solider hidden for children to find. Pick up a map from the St Elli Shopping Centre, write down the names of all ten, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a £250 voucher for On Your Bike – a perfect surprise for Christmas for one lucky winner!