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intu Metrocentre is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, and this weekend shoppers were invited to join in the fun with a fabulous free two days of festive family entertainment including the shopping centre’s Christmas lights switch on.
All the fun of the fair was on the agenda, with music, ice skating, roaming characters, children’s crafts and face painting, plus the chance to win some great spot prizes and competitions.
The two day winter weekender heralded the start of intu Metrocentre’s festive season – with an indoor skating rink in Exhibition Square, near Primark, for two days only, providing all the fun of winter without the chill!
The Metrognomes and the Winter Princesses entertained shoppers on the malls, who also enjoyed having fun with  Potter inspired characters, as well as the Snow Queen, who added her own wintry touch of magic!
Over the course of the weekend north east musicians, including X Factor contestant Melissa Pedro and singer songwriter Channy Thompson, added to the festival atmosphere.
On Saturday intu Metrocentre’s Christmas Light Switch On took place, with  UK music star Oritsé, who rose to fame with boyband JLS, performing the switch on alongside intu Metrocentre’s Heads of Fun, Santa Claus and special guest Team GB’s youngest Olympic medalist in 32 years, Amy Tinkler, from Bishop Auckland.
intu Metrocentre’s shoppers were delighted to see that Santa’s free Grotto, in association with Playmobil, is now open. Every child visiting Santa receives a free gift and has the chance to divulge their Christmas wish list! The Grotto is situated in the lower Qube, Yellow Mall and includes a fun children’s craft area with colouring in stations.
Helen Atkinson, marketing manager at intu Metrocentre, said:
“Our big birthday winter weekender was the perfect way to celebrate intu Metrocentre’s 30th birthday with our shoppers. Everyone enjoyed a fun-packed itinerary with music, entertainment, crafts and competitions – all with a wintry twist – but guaranteed to bring warmth and joy to our loyal shoppers.”
Esther Bennett, Head of Fun alongside Logan Jackson Luke at intu Metrocentre, added:
 “I loved switching on intu Metrocentre’s Christmas lights, there were so many people who had come to watch! I was so excited to meet Amy Tinkler, she’s my inspiration as I love gymnastics and I’m part of a gymnastics club.”
Logan Jackson Luke, aged 7, said:
 “We met Santa today which was so cool! We’ve been skating and we even got to go on the stage in front of loads of people with Amy Tinkler and Oritse.”