Disappointment has turned into excitement because Santa will still be parading in Poole!
His extra special stop is thanks to the Borough of Poole stepping in with the local community and partners following the cancellation of the traditional Dolphin Shopping Centre Santa Parade. As a result Santa will be joining in with Christmas on the Quay on 7 December, a community event supported by the Jolly Sailor, Poole Harbour Commissioners and Poole Tourism.
Santa will arrive on Poole Quay at 4pm by RNLI Lifeboat decorated with Christmas lights. Along with a few special guests including stilt walkers, and his elves, Santa will take to Poole Land Train, parading up and down the Quay before a quayside walkabout to hand out special treats, kindly donated by Sainsbury’s Poole. Santa will wave goodbye to the crowds at 5.30pm and leave the Quay, again by the RNLI lifeboat.
Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Borough of Poole, said; “The strength of feeling within the community following the cancellation of the Santa Parade really showed how important the event is to Poole’s residents. Christmas on the Quay has been a fantastic event for many years and we are particularly grateful to Jenkins Marine, the Jolly Sailor, Poole Park Land Train and Poole Harbour Commissioners, for allowing us to add this parade to their annual Christmas event. I would also like to commend Poole Tourism and the council’s Economic Development and Transportation Teams for working to ensure this event goes ahead this year.”
Poole’s Christmas on the Quay includes children’s rides, stalls, colouring corner and festive music, as well as a chance to write your letter to Santa. Test your strength on the ring the bell machine, win a prize on the tombola or Splat a Santa game. Jamie Jigsaw will help you to sharpen those circus skills in his workshop or create and take home your own balloon character at the free Make & Take.
After Santa departs, Children from Old Town First School will add to the Christmas Spirit with traditional carols by the tree against a background of seasonal snow. Festive food, traditional refreshments, mince pies and roasted chestnuts will be available as the Jolly Sailor, Scaplens Court and Quayside bars and restaurants offer a range of seasonal fare with music and seasonal songs, plus performances from singer Karl Lattimer.
From 6pm Poole’s quayside will light up with a magical Flotilla of Lights as illuminated boats take to the waves to parade alongside Poole Quay, lighting the water with their Christmas light displays with prizes and a trophy awarded to the best dressed boat.
This year Poole Museum is celebrating the festive season with an atmospheric late night opening of Scaplen’s Court with a Tudor-themed Christmas experience and the chance to enjoy a mince pie, some traditional wassail (mulled cider) in an unique historic setting. As well as carol-singing there will be a range of free activities guaranteed to put the family into the festive spirit. Help to decorate the Yule log, make pomanders and take part in Tudor crafts. All activities are free and materials are provided. There’s no need to book, simply drop in, but the earlier the better as it always a popular event with activities from 3.30pm until 7.30pm.
Rod Jenkins from Jenkins Marine, said: “Christmas on the Quay is a lovely community event with a real sense of the spirit of the season and this year will be even better. The traditional games and activities bring festive family fun that adults remember and kids really enjoy. It is fantastic to see how everyone involved has pulled together. We love being involved with it and hope everyone enjoys it.”
Graham Richardson, Head of Poole Tourism, said: “We are very pleased that Poole’s residents will be able to welcome Santa as he arrives at Poole Quay and are grateful to the RNLI for agreeing to use their illuminated lifeboat for the occasion. We are working hard with partners and the council’s Economic Development and Transportation Teams to ensure the event provides fun, family entertainment. Whilst the event cannot be the same scale as the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s Santa Parade, it will still allow children a great opportunity to meet Santa and his elves and we would like to thank everyone for their support.”
Poole Quay from Corkers to the Thistle Hotel will be closed to vehicles from 3.30pm and will re-open by 8.30pm. Free parking is available in Poole Town Centre car parks from 10am-6pm.