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When is Wells Christmas Tide Festival?

PUBLISHED: 10:36 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:36 15 November 2017

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Santa is setting the sat nav to arrive at Wells Quay at 5.30pm on Saturday, December 2.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Swapping reindeer and sleigh for transport by boat, his arrival in the town is one of the highlights of the year.

The big man will once again join the town for its Christmas Tide Festival, with entertainment this year all taking place on one day.

From 10am the fun and frolics will be focused onto Staithe Street and the Quayside while Wells traders will sprinkle the town’s main shopping thoroughfare with festive stardust.

Stalls will fill the Health Centre car park and Staithe Street car park while a host of street entertainment events take place all over the town.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas helpers at the evening event.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas helpers at the evening event. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

They include the Norwich Samba Band, Ukulele Elves, Fakenham Town Band, Blakeney Old Wild Rovers, singer Olivia Watson, Scottish bagpiper Dave as well as entertainers for the children from Charlie Cheesecake to Star Wars characters.

There will be face painting and lantern making ahead of the switching on of the lights at 4.15pm outside Alexandra Howells’ deli.

Look East presenters David Whiteley and Amelia Reynolds will do the honours.

The parade will then make its way back up to the quay where the crowds will assemble in readiness for Santa’s arrival by boat, the opening of his grotto and a fantastic fireworks display.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The timing is critical to ensure the fireworks on the marshes are lit before high tide.

Organiser Mel Catton said the whole of Wells was coming together to make it a special event.

“The community is right behind us,” he said.

“It costs between £10,000 and £12,000 a year to put on the event and every year about 75pc of that has to be raised by collections and other fundraising events.

“We have linked up with the Wells Harbour Commissioners to put on the entertainment and we are delighted that we have something for everyone and for all ages.

“There will be a great atmosphere with something going on at both ends of Staithe Street all day long.”

An added bonus is that all North Norfolk District Council car parks will be free for the day.

For more details and updates visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/xmastide, or follow @WellsXmasTide on Twitter.

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