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All you need to know about this year’s Wells Christmas Tide Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:25 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 23 November 2018

Elf Ukulele Troubadours at the Wells Christmas Tide festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Elf Ukulele Troubadours at the Wells Christmas Tide festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

The biggest event in Wells’ festive calendar is just a few hours away and organisers want everyone in the town to join in the fun.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Wells Christmas Tide Festival regularly pulls in thousands of families lured by the unique prospect of seeing Santa Claus arrive in Norfolk from the North Pole by sea.

Due to the tides, this year’s festival is taking place a little earlier than usual – on Saturday, November 24 – to enable Santa to make dry land at a time that isn’t too late for younger children.

And once again the festival’s organisers, members of the town’s Christmas lights committee, have arranged an all-day jamboree of entertainment suitable for the whole family.

Dave the Piper will signify the start of proceedings when he fires up his bagpipes and parades down Staithe Street at 10am.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Father Christmas arrives to celebrate the evening. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The town’s main shopping street will then remain the focus of the festive fun as a whole host of acts keep visitors entertained from 10.30am to 8pm.

Staithe Street will be closed to traffic from 10am to 8pm on the day for reasons of public safety.

Entertainers will include the Blakeney Old Wild Rovers, Fakenham Ukes, Star Wars Crew, Bellfolk, Dandi (Xmas Punch & Judy), Norwich Samba Band, Diddy Long Legs, Charlie Cheesecake, Fakenham Town Band and Thundermental.

A fair will be operating on The Quay from 10am onwards and the annual Christmas Tree Festival will take place in the Congregational Hall in Clubbs Lane from 10am to 4pm, from Friday, November 23 until Sunday, November 25.

Wells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherWells Christmas Tide celebrations. Fireworks light up the sky. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

BBC Look East husband and wife presenters David Whiteley and Amelia Reynolds will switch on the lights at around 4.45pm at the top of Staithe Street near Arthur Howell’s deli.

At 5.15pm children and their parents will parade down Staithe Street towards the harbour with the lanterns in readiness for Santa’s arrival.

The lantern workshop will be in the Wells Health Centre car park, where seasonal gifts will be on sale.

Santa is due to arrive on the Quay at around 6.15pm before heading for his grotto at Playland amusements to see children from around 7pm onwards.

Wells Christmas Tide. Picture: Ian BurtWells Christmas Tide. Picture: Ian Burt

The crowds will then be further entertained by a spectacular fireworks display over the Wells Marshes.

The Quay will be closed to all traffic from 4.30pm to 8pm. Organisers will reopen all roads as soon as it is safe to do so.

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