Swansea's Christmas Parade - what you need to know to enjoy the night
People looking forward to attending this year's Christmas Parade in Swansea are being urged to plan ahead of the event this Sunday.
Thousands are expected to enjoy the free Swansea Council event that will feature a vibrant mix of local community groups, spectacular professional entertainers, marching bands, magical floats, colourful film characters and festive inflatables, joining Santa Claus to switch on the city centre's glittering Christmas lights.
The council is encouraging those planning to attend to check arrangements beforehand as some roads will be closed to allow the parade to start at 5pm.
Swansea Council Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, Robert Francis-Davies said: "Santa's arrival in Swansea to switch on the Christmas lights is a wonderful start to the festive season and we're aiming to create a real carnival atmosphere full of light, music, and dancing.
"However, to enable a safe procession through the city centre it is necessary to close some roads and we are advising people to plan ahead and aim to arrive early to avoid missing the parade's start at 5pm."
Changes for road traffic will include diversions away from roads such as Quay Parade, Oystermouth Road, Princess Way, High Street, Orchard Street and The Kingsway. Victoria Road and Quay Parade will be temporarily closed in both directions from New Cut Road to Princess Way from around 4pm until the parade has passed. Diversions will be signposted.
Parking will be available at several city centre locations, including free parking at council car parks. Park & Rides will also be operating this Sunday, with buses leaving every 15 minutes from Fabian Way and Landore from 2pm until 5.15pm, returning after the parade from 6pm. The Park & Rides will close at 8pm.
During the event there will be loud noises, flashing lights and special effects. Those who need somewhere quieter are advised to watch it at the St Helen's Road end of The Kingsway or at the top of High Street and Orchard Street. An accessible viewing area will be available on Princess Way and Orchard Street.
The parade will start at Princess Way, making its way to Castle Square where Santa will - from his sleigh - switch on some of the city centre's Christmas lights. The parade will continue up High Street, down Orchard Street and onto the Kingsway, where Santa will switch on the rest of the Christmas lights, before the parade ends at the western end of The Kingsway.
Joining Santa to deliver some festive magic in the parade will be Bonymaen Kids Play Initiative -the 12th year the group have taken part in the parade. The children and young people that benefit from the initiative's work, offering play activities and volunteering opportunities in the community, have been making big wicker costumes and small lanterns for their 'We love Christmas Dinner' theme at this year's parade, building their confidence and self-belief.
Look out for the children of Mellin Theatre Arts, a local theatre school based at Swansea's Grand Theatre. Without a doubt, they will be impressing crowds with their Swan Lake, Sugar Plum Fairy, and Carol of the Bells dance routines, fusing ballet with jazz and hip-hop styles.
Also joining in the fun are the Rising Stars Theatre Company, whose members with additional learning needs will be adopting a 'circus' theme for the parade; and St Thomas Church, which does much to help and support vulnerable people through its food bank and night shelter, will be bringing 'light into darkness.'
Cllr Francis-Davies added: "Swansea's Christmas parade is very much a community event, and it is good to see so many different groups from across the city taking part, sharing their good cheer to get everyone in the festive mood."
To find out more about Swansea's Christmas parade, including full travel and parking information, go online to www.enjoyswanseabay.com.