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BLACK Friday is supposed to be the day that shops make a killing. Move over, Reindeer Day is here in Llanelli. The annual parade, which included the Swansea City Pipe Band, The band of the Royal British Legion, The Celtique Twirlers, numerous mascots, marchers and The Mayor took place on Saturday (Dec 2) thankfully on a dry day.

Thousands of people lined the streets from Theatr Ffwrness via Llanelly House, Vaughan Street and Stepney Street before coming to a halt in Spring Gardens where there were fairground rides and live entertainment on the Radio Carmarthenshire stage. The Town Crier Reverend Eldon Phillips broke away from the parade to lead Father Christmas and his elves through Llanelli Market and on to the St Elli Centre and Santa’s grotto where they gathered for a photo call.

Business was brisk in most of the shops along the High Street and the market traders also looked very busy. The street market was popular along with some of the many food stalls situated along the way. Llanelly House had hosted a Santa’s Breakfast earlier in the morning with at least 50 children in attendance.

It was also Small Business Saturday and Llanelli MP Nia Griffith was in the town centre supporting the cause. She toured the shops and stalls purchasing a number of items and chatting to shopkeepers. Although the MP was optimistic about Llanelli Town Centre’s future she expressed her concern regarding how the changes to Universal Tax Credits will effect small businesses. You can watch the interview we did with Nia Griffith MP in our business section.

The old saying is, ‘If you build they will come’. It was very clear that the organisations including Llanelli Town Council, the Llanelli Chamber of Trade and Commerce, the management of the St Elli Centre and Ymlaen Llanelli had built and the people did come.

The success of Ymlaen Llanelli is permeating through the town, however BID manager Mandy Jenkins is still looking for local businesses to voluntarily contribute. The money is ploughed in to events such as the Reindeer Parade and a number of events, which have been successful throughout 2017.

The Town Mayor Cllr Jeff Edmunds said that the day had been a tremendous success. He said: “Absolutely fantastic. What a turn out. I am immensely proud of the town. We want Llanelli to be back to the vibrant town it used to be. It is all about community coming together. All the aspects of community coming together and being part of this town Llanelli.”

St Elli Shopping Centre Manager Andrew Stephens said: “It has been a fantastic day. Every year this gets bigger and better. A fantastic parade around the town. We have also given away £1,000 to customers.”

You can watch our film of the parade here soon.

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