Preparations are being made for the return of Swansea’s Christmas Parade – and it’s set to be one of the best yet.
The event was last staged – to huge public acclaim – in 2019. Last year, like many other festive events around the UK, it did not go ahead due to the pandemic. As an alternative, Swansea Council hosted a virtual parade which proved to be popular.
With restrictions now being gradually eased, event organisers at the council are planning a parade to match the 2019 spectacular on the evening of November 21. It will be in line with current guidance to ensure that people are kept as safe as possible.
The parade and Christmas lights switch-on will follow a similar format to the 2019 event. It will feature a city centre route, special characters, community involvement, snow machines, fireworks and Santa who will switch on the lights. There will be expanded festive lights – with an extra special addition to be revealed soon.
The council will ask those who attend to follow up-to-date safety guidelines – and to spread out along the route in order to allow for adequate space for themselves and others.
Two large Christmas trees will go up – one in front of the Dragon Hotel, the other in Castle Square.
Swansea’s Christmas Market is set to make a comeback, there will be new lights in the city centre’s Oxford Street area and there’s the return of the popular panto at the Grand Theatre. This year’s production – Snow White, starring Colin Jackson and Kevin Johns – is due to run from December 10 to January 3.
A Christmas-themed attraction next to the LC is planned from mid-November. This will see the return of Waterfront Winterland with its own Alpine Village in Museum Park. Run by Sayers Events, there will be an ice walk and rink along with a food village and festive fun fair with big wheel. Safety measures will be in place.
Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “As Swansea leads Wales out of the pandemic we want to make this a special Christmas.
“Unfortunately, Covid is still very much with us so we’ll be asking everybody to continue to follow advice to ensure their continued safety and that of others. More details of this will follow as our planning continues.”
Safety guidelines for the parade are likely to include a request for those feeling ill to avoid the event – and for attendees to socially distance where possible and to spread out along the route rather than bunching in certain places.
Council staff have already been reaching out to community groups and bands to seek their involvement. Groups keen to take part in the parade should email email@example.com before November 1.
The Christmas Market, in Oxford Street, will be largely outdoors and is due to be staged from November 26 to December 21 in line with latest Covid guidelines. The council asks visitors to follow any instructions in place at the time.
The new festive lights being installed will include colour changing features in Oxford Street’s trees, similar to those now in Wind Street’s trees. There are plans for illuminated icicles around canopies on Oxford Street, Whitewalls and Union Street.
One of the main Christmas trees – above the steps in Castle Square – is being sponsored by the council’s child and family services team, promoting support towards childcare costs for working parents of those aged three and four in Wales.
Tickets for ice skating at the Waterfront Winterland attraction, from November 12 to January 3, are on sale now at www.bit.ly/SwanseaWW2021
Photo: Action from the successful 2019 Swansea Christmas Parade.