Photos: Iwan Lewis
CHRISTMAS really did begin in Llanelli today, Saturday (Dec 1) as children got their first glimpse of the man in the red suit, no not the Mayor David Darkin, although he was there too, but this time in a less colourful outfit but still with plenty of bling.
Sion Corn, Mikolaj, Noel Baba, père Noël, Father Christmas or whatever name he goes by depending on where he is in the world was on his sleigh being pulled along by a team of reindeer. Now there’s a sight you don’t see every day.
The annual Reindeer Parade got underway at around 12 midday. Starting off at Theatre Ffwrness before moving along Stepney Street and on to Vaughan Street where crowds had lined the route. The Swansea Pipe Band and the Royal British Legion Band provided the music to march too while the Celtique Twirlers did their thing. Members of the cast from the panto, along with a smattering of princesses, a dragon, a penguin or was it a partridge then turned back onto Stepney Street, which was lined with stalls selling everything from burgers to crepes.
An ice sculptor who usually frequents parties of the rich and famous such as Elton John and Quentin Tarantino was busy sculpting out an ice figure of Rudolph the red nose reindeer. No doubt the reindeer pulling the sleigh gave a nod of appreciation as they passed by.
The Reverend Eldon Phillips was resplendent in his Town Crier outfit as usual and shouted out plenty of Oh Yeah’s at the head of the parade. A fairytale carriage complete with a young beautified princess and her attendants was pulled smoothly through the streets skilfully negotiating the bollards and lamp posts as it went.
A rock band belted out Christmas tunes, carol singers warbled some too and the whole thing finished off at Spring Gardens, where people got the opportunity to pet the reindeer or else jump on a fairground ride and be spun or catapulted into Christmas cheer.
It had threatened to rain, but instead it snowed, well artificially at least as the snow machine pumped out the flakes, which resembled soap suds when it landed on the ground.
It was Small Business Saturday and there can be no doubt that many of those said businesses would have benefitted from the ground swell in numbers of people who had made their way to Llanelli town Centre. As quick as they had arrived they fled and could be seen later on sharing that local wealth at Parc Trostre, and why not, it is our money to do with as we please.
There were nods and murmurs of approval and satisfactory pats on backs, smiles and no doubt one or three eggnogs being shared at the end of another successful day at the office for Ymlaen Llanelli.
Photos: Basia Kliza