The much loved Dolphin shopping centre and Poole Town Centre Partnership Santa Parade is back this year and better than ever before. Taking place on Sunday November 17 from 10am, it will include Christmas themed entertainment for the whole family.

The free event is a feast for the eyes with real reindeer, a marching band, fun characters, chocolate treats, music, dancing and of course Father Christmas himself.

A special appearance will be made by the Mayor of Poole, Councillor Philip Eades, as well as the cast from the Lighthouse’s panto ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ including actress, comedienne and impressionist Debra Stephenson joining in with the celebrations.

This year’s parade is themed around Santa’s toy workshop, with dancing elves, stilt walking toy soldiers and ballerinas all lining up the streets to welcome the arrival of Santa to his grotto in the Dolphin shopping centre.

The jolly fellow himself will welcome children to his enchanting alpine lodge where he will reside until his busiest night of the year. Entry to the grotto is £4.50 and each child will receive a wrapped gift chosen especially by Santa himself.

Following the parade, the festive fun and games will continue throughout the day at the Centre with the opportunity for families to discover Santa’s workshop and meet his crew of trusty elves. Children will receive their very own elf hat, take part in a treasure trail and decorate Christmas gifts. As well as the free activities on offer, entertainment from the parade will perform at intervals throughout the afternoon.

The Dolphin shopping centre management team is keen to make the parade an enjoyable day out in Poole for families and will be offering free car parking at the centre all day.

John Grinnell, centre manager of the Dolphin shopping centre, said: “The annual Santa Parade is a hugely popular event for the residents of Poole and really gets the town into the festive spirit. This year’s event promises to be another major success and one that helps support all the town centre businesses at the start of this very important trading period.”