Belfast Telegraph

Smiles on faces all round at the arrival of Santa Claus in Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

You better watch out, you better not cry - because Santa Claus is coming to a town near you.

It's beginning to look a lot like the run up to Christmas in shopping centres across Northern Ireland where Santa, along with his helpers, is taking his place in his grottos.

As the fairy lights begin to twinkle, towns and cities across the province get an extra sprinkle of Christmas spirit as they host Santa Claus until the big day.

It's the special time of year where children get the chance to meet the man in the big red coat and to double-check he has received their letter.

The festive period kicked off at Victoria Square in Belfast where 300 dancers from the Gillian Doogan School of Dance helped to welcome Santa.

The dancers, dressed with red Christmas capes over their sparkly white costumes, helped light up the city centre shopping centre as they took part in the glittering seasonal parade.

And in Londonderry there were plenty of big smiles as children got snaps with Santa when he arrived at Foyleside shopping centre.

Today Santa makes another big appearance in CastleCourt.

Before his arrival he was joined by five-year-old Kitty Heavern, who got a sneak preview ahead of the fun-filled parade.

Moving through the city centre, the festive extravaganza will feature dancing elves, snowmen and costumed characters brightening up Donegall Place from 11.45am and finishing at the shopping centre.

Later tonight Belfast will officially light up for Christmas as Mayor Nichola Mallon and special guests switch on the city's lights.

All tickets have been allocated to the event to get us into the festive spirit.

Belfast Telegraph

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