North East Connected

A calendar countdown to festive fun in Darlington

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 13.56.26A North East town centre will be playing Santa this year by bringing bargains to shoppers in the run up to Christmas.

Distinct Darlington has teamed up with a wide range of the town’s retailers to create a special advent calendar – and every door opened will reveal a new shopping offer.

The calendar will go up on 1 December at Northumberland Street and each window will conceal a prize to be redeemed or spent at a town centre business.

These will include ‘buy one get one free’ offers, discounts and special deals – available for one day only.

“It’s the town centre’s way of thanking all their customers and visitors in the run-up to Christmas,” said Alex Hirst of Distinct Darlington, which was formed to promote businesses through the town centre and has organised the winter events.

“Darlington really comes into its own at Christmas and this year we hope there are more reasons to visit than ever before.”

The festive season will officially get under way on Thursday 26 November with the switching on of the Christmas lights at the Market Square and traders from the popular Sunday People’s Market showcasing their wares from stalls at High Row.

On Sunday, 29 November, the Cornmill Centre will play host to a reindeer parade from 11am, while, on Saturday, 5 December, Bondgate will be transformed into an alpine village.

Four gazebos will be hosting a variety of Christmas activities, such as creating Christmas decorations and wreaths and the opportunity to write letters to Santa.

Costumed characters from a popular animated movie will be offering beauty treatments in their pink pamper booth, while an enchanted Glow Fairy will be entertaining the crowds.

On 5 December children will also be able to take part in a special treasure hunt, which will set off from Bondgate, throughout the day from 10am to 5pm.

The aim of the Reindeer Hunt will be to find all nine of Santa’s reindeers, which will be hiding around the town centre, for the chance to win a Christmas goodie bag.

The following Saturday; 12 December, will be music-themed, with North Tyneside Steel Band, Cockerton Brass Band, Burbank Street Band and Meet my Mascot performing at Northgate, Blackwellgate, Bondgate and High Row; plus a special appearance from the Bad Santa’s.

And, on Saturday, 19 December, younger visitors to Blackwellgate will be entertained with a Christmas-themed educational display featuring live Humboldt penguins, courtesy of Penguin Encounter.

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