SHOPS and traders in St Leonards are gearing up to turn their shopping area into a festive winter wonderland.
A Christmas tree will be lit up in Warrior Square on Friday, December 2 from 4pm, heralding the start of the Christmas festivities.
The switch-on has been organised by the newly-formed Friends of Warrior Square, together with Central St Leonards Business Association, and will feature carol singers and roast chestnuts for visitors and residents.
Businesses are also staying open until 7pm so shoppers can spend longer looking for that special Christmas gift.
Matthew May, vice chairman of Central St Leonards Business Association, said: “This year the festivities will be different, compared to last year and we will be concentrating on everything being inside. Last year it was totally snowed off.
“Many shops in Norman Road, Grand Parade, Marina, Marine Court, Kings Road, Western Road and London Road are taking part. Lots of people are starting to show interest in the shops in St Leonards so this year’s festivities should be good and work out quite nicely.”
There are also competitions and prizes to be won.
One is Spot the Stranger where shoppers can look for something in a shop window that should not be there, such as a book in the butcher’s window.
The aim is for people to find as many as they can. Entry forms are in participating shops with an SBA (St Leonards Business Association) sticker. Prizes are mainly for children. Participating shops will also have a tub filled with packaging bits to hide mystery gifts. Each shop will be different; some will have sweets, some will have little presents and some will even have gift vouchers.
A laser show and prize giving is due to take place on Saturday, December 17 at 3pm at the Magnet Centre, London Road. For more information visit www.santaonsea.co.uk.