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This is when the Christmas lights get switched on in Merthyr Tydfil

Santa Claus will be landing at St Tydfil Shopping Centre on Saturday 16th November to open his grotto and settle in to listen to children’s Christmas wishes throughout the festive season.

Arriving at 11am, Father Christmas will be getting the whole town ready for Merthyr’s Christmas lights switch-on extravaganza which will take place later in the day. The free grotto will be open until 4pm, then from 11am to 4pm every Friday and Saturday between 22nd November and 21st December. Every child who visits will receive a goody bag.

A balloon modeler will also be entertaining young visitors on the launch day and the popular Llwydcoed Brass Band will be playing festive tunes throughout the morning.

At 4pm, Father Christmas will be leading a procession from the shopping centre to the Redhouse where the town’s festivities will take place.

The day will also see the first of three pop-up Christmas Fayres taking place in the shopping centre giving visitors the chance to purchase unique and handmade gifts from local crafters and suppliers, as well as enjoy delicious food from south wales based vendors, including wood fired pizza company Dough to Go. Further fayres will take place on Saturday 30th November and Saturday 14th December.

Julie Calderbank, Operations Manager at St Tydfil Shopping Centre, commented:

“We’re delighted to be launching our popular grotto again this year and look forward to welcoming families along for a visit. As well as the grotto and the Christmas Fayres we also have a giant sleigh, which is great for a festive family photo and children will be able to post their letters to Santa in the special post box. Father Christmas will ensure all the letters are passed on to his helpers at his North Pole workshop.”