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Beamish Museum: parade to launch Christmas past

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Festive season kicks off in style at County Durham museum

Father Christmas will arrive at Beamish Museum this Saturday (November 18) in a festive parade featuring horses, huskies, fire engines, bands and period vehicles.

The procession will wend its way through The 1900s Town, before Father Christmas leads the countdown to the tree lights switch-on, signalling the start of the festive season at Beamish.

He will then take up residence in his cosy Grotto at Pockerley Waggonway, along with his reindeer nearby.

Father Christmas will be joined in the parade by Mrs Claus in her sleigh pulled by huskies, alongside fire engines from the 1920s to present day, horse-drawn carriages, period vehicles and cycles, costumed folk and music from the Borneo Band, Houghton Brass Band and the Beamish Choir.

The procession will leave Pockerley Waggonway at 1pm on Saturday before making its way through The 1900s Town and down to the Winter Fun Fair for the switch-on of the tree lights.

Christmas at Beamish will run every day until Christmas Eve, in the Georgian, Edwardian and 1940s eras, with traditional festive food, decorations, music, and song.

Visitors can enjoy a spin on the real ice rink at the Winter Fun Fair, browse the stalls at the Christmas Bazaar in The Town Park and join in the festivities at 1820s Pockerley, 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village, and The 1940s Farm.

Paul Foster, Beamish’s historic events officer, said: “We’re so excited to be welcoming Father Christmas to Beamish in such a fantastically festive fashion, with this magnificent parade through the museum.

There’ll be everything from huskies and horses to fabulous fire engines, musicians, and vehicles. Come and join us this Saturday to see the arrival of Father Christmas and celebrate the launch of the festive season at Beamish.”

Beamish Unlimited Passes, which are valid for 12 months, can be used for Christmas at Beamish daytimes. Beamish is open daily from 10am to 4pm (last admission 3pm, closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day). A small extra charge applies for Father Christmas’ Grotto, ice rink, gallopers, and sideshows.

Christmas at Beamish is followed by Twelfth Night festivities from December 27 to January 6, including music, pantomime, dancing, food, first-footing and family activities.

Find out more at www.beamish.org.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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