Santa kicks off his festive events at County Durham treasure
Father Christmas will arrive at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North on Saturday, November 16 in a magnificent grand parade.
From steam engines to sleighs, camels to classic cars, brass bands to buses and huskies to horse-drawn carriages, the festive procession signals the start of Christmas at Beamish 2019, which runs until Christmas Eve.
The parade celebrates Beamish events throughout the year and starts at 1pm from Pockerley Waggonway, through The 1900s Town to The Fairground, where Father Christmas will lead the countdown to the Christmas tree lights switch-on. He will then take up residence in his Grotto at Pockerley Waggonway.
Parade of vintage vehicles
Father Christmas’s sleigh will be pulled by a steam traction engine, while Mrs Claus will have a husky-drawn sleigh. Fire engines, camels, period vehicles, horse-drawn carriages, cars from the North of England Classic & Pre-War Automobiles Motoring Club, a miners’ banner and members of the Old 68th Durham Light Infantry Society re-enactment group will also be taking part.
Friends of Beamish will be riding cycles and motorcycles and driving their SOS bus, which featured in the recent Downton Abbey movie that was filmed at the museum.
Music will be provided by the Borneo Band, Off Key Music, Beamish Brass Band, Beamish Choir and Newton Aycliffe Pipe Band. Dunston Silver Band and the Silver Wind Band will also be performing on the day.
Festive celebrations from 4 time periods
Visitors will be able to discover festive celebrations from the Georgian, Edwardian, 1940s and, for the first time, 1950s periods. See traditional decorations, enjoy festive food and drink and try Christmas crafts.
Visitors can see Father Christmas in his Grotto, meet his reindeer, take a spin on the real ice rink at The Fairground and browse the stalls at the Christmas Bazaar in The 1900s Town park.
Paul Foster, Beamish’s Historic Events Officer, said: “We’re really excited for the arrival of Father Christmas at the museum in a grand parade to celebrate the launch of Christmas at Beamish 2019.”
Opening hours and Twelfth Night Celebrations
Christmas at Beamish runs daily from 10am to 4pm (last admission 3pm).
The festivities will continue after Christmas with Beamish’s Twelfth Night Celebrations from December 27 to January 5, when visitors can enjoy traditional pantomime, music, dancing, food and first-footing (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).
Christmas at Beamish daytimes and Twelfth Night Celebrations are included in admission and are free for Unlimited Pass holders and Friends of Beamish members. A small extra charge applies for the Grotto, ice rink and fairground. For more information, visit www.beamish.org.uk.