SANTA’s grotto is back again in Shrewsbury town centre and it comes with extra wow factor thanks to a special winter wonderland makeover.
On the weekends leading up to Christmas, Father Christmas will again be in residence at his glittering snow-covered base in the Pride Hill shopping centre ready to welcome young visitors, who can hand over their wish-list of presents, pick up a great early gift and also have their pictures taken with him.
After a gap of several years the grotto returned last year, courtesy of Shrewsbury’s three Rotary Clubs whose volunteers will be ensuring everything goes as smoothly as a sleigh ride for Santa and his band of helpers.
The grotto will be open on the busy Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays leading up to the big day.
It will be located on the centre’s upper level between the HMV and Next stores and this year’s is extra special with a team of four artists led by Shrewsbury Shopping Centres Community Co-ordinator Maggie Love producing a spectacular setting for Santa.
The new Winter Wonderland, sponsored by Jacksons Lifts and Escalators, is sure to be a hit with youngsters and their families, according to Maggie.
She said: “We’ve really gone to town on it with special materials and even a pair of animated reindeer so it’s well worth a visit – I think it really has the wow factor.
“There are two quite different things going on, the very traditional grotto where Santa sits and Winter Wonderland tunnel where we have spent a lot of time creating something really special.”
For just £5 - £3 for under-3s - youngsters will get to chat to Santa, be handed a fabulous pre-Christmas present of a toy suitable for their age and also have the chance to be snapped alongside him.
Outside the grotto will be a 50p lucky dip where they can pick up smaller toys.
Proceeds from the grotto, which is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday up to Christmas and on Monday, December 23, will be shared between charities nominated by the Rotary Clubs.
Maggie Love added: “It’s very exciting to see Santa back in Shrewsbury again this year.
“We and the local Rotarians have been working hard to ensure the grotto looks attractive and welcoming for everyone who comes along to pay a visit and we are very grateful to them for all their efforts.
“It all looks really incredible this year and will certainly help get people into the Christmas spirit and the toys Santa will be handing to the children will be really fantastic.”
Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “We’re pleased to be able to play host to Santa once more, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a grotto and I’m sure it will give a lot of pleasure to lots of children.”
Details of Shrewsbury’s Christmas Cracker events are on the website and for more on what’s happening at the Shrewsbury Shopping Centres please click here.
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