Santa arrives in Newham as borough switches on Christmas lights

Santa leaves to the North Pole by sleigh and his reindeers from Gallions Reach Shopping Park.

Santa leaves to the North Pole by sleigh and his reindeers from Gallions Reach Shopping Park. - Credit: Archant

Festive lights have been switched on in shopping centres at Westfield Stratford City and Gallions Reach.

A firework display concludes the Santa’s Arrival procession at Westfield Stratford City.

A firework display concludes the Santa’s Arrival procession at Westfield Stratford City. - Credit: Archant

Celebrities Dick and Dom did the honours in Stratford with Santa while singer Michelle Gayle threw the all important switch in Gallions Reach.

The crowds of Saturday shoppers watched as a procession of colourfully dressed characters wound their way through The Street to the theme of the 12 Days of Christmas. There were 12 drummers, 11 bagpipers in traditional dress, 10 Morris dancers, nine Bollywood dancers and even a partridge in a pear tree.

They also enjoyed live music, carolling and kids face painting in Chestnut Plaza.

At the other end of the borough singer Michelle Gayle and the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, from The Broadway in Barking, pitched into help Santa bring a liberal dose of Christmas cheer to the shopping centre.


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His arrival on a sleigh pulled by reindeer received a loud welcome from the crowd of shoppers waiting patiently.

They were treated to live music by the pantomime cast who brought a dash of colour to the occasion.

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Additional Christmas lights will be switched on in East Ham on November 23 by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales from 2pm to 5pm and in Meridian Square, Stratford on November 29 and in Woodgrange Market Place in Sebert Road, Forest Gate on December 7 between 3pm and 6pm.

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