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Thousands join Santa for festive frolics at parade

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 19, 2012

By Geraint Thomas

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SWANSEA is switched on for Christmas!

Thousands of people, young and old, turned out for the annual flick of the switch that illuminated the city centre with its festive display of lights.

Also present was the big jolly fellow, Father Christmas, who was spotted checking on children's behaviour and a huge list of presents before carrying out the official switch-on.

Another jolly fellow, Kev Johns, who is once again playing the panto dame in Cinderella at Swansea's Grand Theatre this year, took part in the parade along with other members of the cast.

He said: "It's a lot of fun and amazing to see how many people turn out to watch. I enjoyed walking along and chatting to the crowd. They all came to see the switching on of the lights and, of course, Santa.

"The rain kept off but it was very cold, luckily I wore my thermals under my dress!"

Kev was particularly impressed with the parade's floats, many of which were designed and built by community groups.

He said: "The floats this year were brilliant. It's what Christmas is all about with the community coming together to first make them and then take part in the parade. It has really set me up for Christmas."

The floats, decorated by the Bonymaen Kids Play Initiative, Doodles, Montana Park Community Centre, Townhill Kick Boxing Club and Rural Youth Clubs, followed a toyland of yesteryear theme.

The procession was completed by the Bay Rider land train, a Bumbles of Mumbles float and Swansea Council's Waterfront Winterland float.

Also taking part were marching bands, dance groups and festive street entertainers such as Samba Tawe and the Dixie Land Jazz Band.

The parade set off from the Dylan Thomas Centre before making its way to the Guildhall, via Wind Street, College Street, Princess Way and St Helen's Road.

Irene Fisher, of Brynmill, took her four grandchildren along to watch the festive frolics.

She said: "It gets better and better every year, we all loved it.

"It was nice to see Swansea putting something on for the whole family."

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  • lancelot69  |  November 20 2012, 9:42PM

    Pathetic parade. It was as if only the community centers organised the event, if it wasn't for their floats there would have been nothing! hasn't anyone who arranged it done any research? Even if they had a little of the 'Disney' magic it would be worth the world. The music attempt was poor and santa almost passed without us noticing him! Not even a jolly Ho Ho Ho.

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  • ald91  |  November 20 2012, 9:23PM

    This parade gets worse and worse every year! There is no christmas spirit at all anymore and there is no atmosphere, it didn't feel like christmas was coming my family and myself's opinion. The parade was barely on for 5/10 minutes, it didn't look like a christmas parade because it only had some colour, bits of glitter and santa on a slay, there was no background music during the parade which actually made me feel awkward as the floats etc were passing. There was just no christmas spirit whatsoever, and didn't look like it was even related to christmas. I was very dissapointed. There wasn't even a count down for the lights which in the past we all use to do and take part in, which in my opinion was the biggest and most exciting part of the event. Years and years ago it use to go on for about half an hour, non stop, massive effort was made and it made the experience exciting, there was a variety of dancing, floats and music, there were more christmas related things happening. You would always hear great christmas music during the parade and like I've mentioned already we would all do a countdown for the lights. What on earth has happened now? The swansea council clearly can't be bothered anymore and just doesn't care in the slightless, if I was working for the council and saw this happening I would be ashamed...and do my best to make more effort for the event. Money, time and effort is being wasted on something has barely anything to do with christmas. Why not ask the residents of Swansea what they think and what they want to see? I think you need to look back at the old days and take tips from that to improve the future, otherwise there is no point in bothering. These kids are going to get bored and won't even understand the true meaning of this occasion.

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  • 2012monkey12  |  November 19 2012, 8:39PM

    What a pathetic show! Swansea city's Christmas parade could be compared to a shrivelled balloon at the end of the Christmas office party, all the anticipation of being great when you blow it up but then a complete let down after the event. There was nothing to make me think that standing out in the cold in anticipation was worth it, we are the second largest city in Wales, you would think there would be a transfusion of money from the local council. Thank goodness for the ones who did enter their floats, because watching a man walk up the street, rattling a bucket and wearing a Christmas hat doesn't quite do it for me!!!! The adverts on the mumbles train were for summer events that have come and gone, and the bus advertising our pantomime "Cinderella" this year had all the magic of Paul Daniels toupee!

    |   4
  • 2012monkey12  |  November 19 2012, 8:32PM

    What a pathetic show! Swansea city's Christmas parade could be compared to a shrivelled balloon at the end of the Christmas office party, all the anticipation of being great when you blow it up but then a complete let down after the event. There was nothing to make me think that standing out in the cold in anticipation was worth it, we are the second largest city in Wales, you would think there would be a transfusion of money from the local council. Thank goodness for the ones who did enter their floats, because watching a man walk up the street, rattling a bucket and wear a Christmas hat doesn't quite do it for me!!!! The adverts on the mumbles train were for summer events that have come and gone, and the bus advertising our pantomine "Cinderella" this year had all the magic of Paul Daniels toupee!

    |   6
  • SAswan  |  November 19 2012, 1:49PM

    Swansea city centre could do with with some picnic benches in places like castle square and the top end of princess way so that people have somewhere to sit and eat and rest

  • sianmartin2  |  November 19 2012, 9:40AM

    I know the kids enjoyed.. But I thought is was a very poor parade this year.... There was no bands at all which I think makes a parade..... Sorry if anyone thinks differently !!!

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