Make a date: Sunday, November 17
Swansea city centre’s annual Christmas Parade takes place this Sunday (November 17).
It will help kick-start the busy festive season and form part of the 50th anniversary city status celebrations.
Thousands of spectators will see hundreds of local people in the parade.
There will be special effects, loud noises and flashing lights.
A council spokesperson said: “This will be a bright, colourful, sociable and Christmassy occasion.
“We want everybody to have a great time to help families and businesses start the festive season in memorable style.”
So how can you best enjoy the parade?
What will be happening?
Swansea’s Christmas Parade and Lights Switch-On will start at 5pm on Sunday, November 17.
There will be marching bands, colourful floats, festive film characters, Christmas inflatables and Santa in his sleigh and some special effects
In the build-up to the parade there will be local choirs and vocalists entertaining city centre visitors at performance points at the top of Castle Square and the Kingsway Circle as they await the arrival of the parade.
Where will it all be happening?
You can stand anywhere along the route to enjoy the parade which will start at the bottom of Wind Street and head up Wind Street to Castle Square. Here, Santa will switch on some Christmas lights. The parade will then continue up High Street, down Orchard Street and onto the Kingsway where Santa will turn on the lights of the second Christmas tree and the remainder of the city centre lights before heading along The Kingsway.
What will there be for my child to see?
Lots of light, colour and sparkle! Cinderella, Snow White, Elsa from Frozen, Spiderman, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Toy Story’s Woody, Buzz and Jess are among the characters who will be there along with Santa on his sleigh.
Will there be marching bands?
Yes! The 3 Welsh Wing Marching Band, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, will lead the parade and there will be entertainment from Loughor Town Band, Bloco Vale Samba, Swansea Pipe Band and Swansea Silver Rhythmaires.
What dance groups will be taking part?
There will be more than 500 young performers from Swansea drama and dance groups. They will including Mellin Theatre Arts, Swansea Dance Twerk Team, Acting Up Theatre Company/Maria Evans Academy, Company J, Barton Dance Academy, Zumba with Sion, Bernadette Jones School of Irish Dance, Swansea Dancing Samba, Bonymaen Kids Play Initiative, Class Act Theatre School, Jermin Productions, Rising Stars, Joan Williams Stage School plus Swansea Little Theatre and the Carly Lewis School of Dance. They will perform festive themes ranging from the Swan Lake ballet to modern street dance to Christmas trees and shining stars.
What about the pre-entertainment?
There will be performance points at Castle Square and outside the Dragon Hotel where local choirs and vocalists - including Rock Choir, Dancerama, Jermin Productions, Nataya and Victorian Carollers - will entertain the crowds while waiting for the parade.
Will there be any road closures?
In order to stage the event safely, a number of road closures will be in place on the evening of the event. The closures will be kept to a minimum in order to limit the inconvenience to people living, visiting or working in the area. Where possible, closures will be implemented on a rolling basis.
- East Burrows Road and Somerset Place will be closed from 2-8pm
- Wind Street, Castle Bailey Street, Castle Street, High Street, Alexandra Road, College Street, Orchard Street, The Kingsway, Dillwyn Street and Wellington Street will be closed on a rolling closure basis from 4-8pm.
- Alternative routes will be signposted and access for emergency services will be maintained at all times.
How should we get there? What about traffic and parking?
This year’s parade will start at the bottom of Wind Street at 5pm with an anticipated finish time of around 6pm at the St Helen’s Road end of The Kingsway.
The city centre is expected to be very busy during the afternoon and throughout the event so it is important to allow plenty of time to arrive.
Council car parks will be free – as they always are on Sundays. A number of the car parks will be open but affected by the road closures from around 4-6.30pm. These are: Park Street East, Park Street West, Picton Lane, Pell Street, Oxford Street and Worcester Place.
What about Park and Ride?
There will be two Park and Rides operating for the parade - Fabian Way (SA1 8LD) and the Mumbles Road Recreation Ground (SA2 0AU). Both will drop customers at the Quadrant Bus Station. The charge for each is £2.50 per vehicle. Both will be open from 9.30am-8pm. Tickets may be purchased at both sites.
What about getting home afterwards?
Due to the large number of vehicles likely to be leaving the area within a short space of time, traffic is expected to be heavy at the end of the event so please be patient.