Festive parade thrills crowds at Festival Place

Basingstoke Gazette: Santa's little helpers at Festival Place. Buy this photo » Santa's little helpers at Festival Place.

THERE was plenty of Christmas spirit around as an annual festive parade came to Basingstoke’s Festival Place.

The Santa Parade, led by Father Christmas, featured performers on stilts, a ska band, elves bouncing along and an inquisitive robot.

The procession of around 70 performers began from Porchester Square shortly after midday last Sunday, as the performers and dozens of children from Basingstoke Academy of Dance, made their way slowly through the assembled crowds.

During the 20-minute parade, which went through the shopping centre to the outdoor Festival Square, Santa shook hands with delighted children while parents enjoyed Christmas classics being belted out by the five-piece band.

The children, dressed in tutus and dance outfits, twirled their way through the shopping centre watched by proud parents.

Wise men on a ‘camel’ answered any questions from onlookers and ‘reindeer’ rode through the shopping centre on a motorised sleigh, with a sound system belting out festive tunes.

Festival Place centre director Steven Connelly said: “The parade is a fantastic, family-orientated event.

“It is a great excuse to get lots of families into the shopping centre, just for fun, and it was extremely busy. This Santa Parade event was the best yet.”

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