Taking place across Wharf Green and Canal Walk this Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st November, The Magic of Christmas promises a fun weekend of free, festive treats including Santa in his sleigh with some very special friends, a 30 metre snow machine, a giant snow globe you can fit all the family inside, a life-sized Nutcracker King Trail, selfies in Santa’s sleigh, and Creation Station art activities from Totally Crazy. Plus music, entertainment and more!
Festive food stalls on The Parade and Canal Walk are making mouths water, with Swing Grill bratwursts, a carvery with roasted meat rolls and Yorkshire pudding wraps, topped fresh donuts and pancakes, and giant cookies loaded with your favourite chocolate bars, plus candy floss, sweet treats and more.
Anita Bellinger, Executive Director, InSwindon BID, says: "After the last 20 months and not being able to celebrate the start of Christmas in person last year, we can't wait to bring people together for a whole weekend of festivities! That’s why we decided to have the event over two whole days instead of an evening as it has been previously."
"We want to make it a big, fun weekend with something for everyone. And bring people together in a way that feels Covid-safe and accessible for all. Even Santa's selfie sleigh will be wheelchair accessible, one of only a handful in the UK, so that everyone can be included."
"We've got lots happening to make magical memories with friends and family. And of course the town centre will be lit up with all the beautiful Christmas lights. And the town centre shops and hospitality venues will be open and ready to welcome you. It's going to be a fantastic celebration to bring the community together and start the Christmas season!”
As well as The Magic of Christmas weekend, InSwindon BID have many other festive activities in the town centre throughout December. One of the other highlights is the Nutcracker Trail. Ten life-sized Nutcracker King figures have been hidden in businesses around the town centre. Visitors follow the trail to find them all - and be in with a chance to win top prizes including an Apple iPad. An eleventh, and giant, selfie-ready Nutcracker King is at the Canal Walk Fountain as part of the Christmas decorations.
Anita Bellinger says: "Trails are really popular and we’re expecting this one to be a hit with lots of different people - from families, to date-night couples, to selfie-seekers, to work colleagues wanting a fun alternative to the office Christmas party. And people can feel confident about socialising in a Covid-safe way.”
The Nutcracker Trail is free and runs from Saturday 20th November to Sunday 2nd January. Pick up your copy of the Nutcracker Trail booklet from Saturday 20th November at Metro Bank, Central Library or the Festive Stalls. You can also download a copy from inSwindon's website
Other events include the Salvation Army Carol Singers on Saturday 4th, 11th and 18th December at the Canal Walk Fountain. Plus festive stalls until 31st December (except Christmas Day). And a festive funfair from Thursday 16th December to Sunday 2nd January (closed Christmas & New Year's Days).
inSwindon BID is also supporting the Theatre Square Christmas Market on Friday 3rd December. The festive market brings together local artists, makers, musicians and food producers, with stalls across Artsite, Central Library and Theatre Square. Central Library is also hosting art activities for children, and photographer Richard Wintle will be launching his new book.