Christmas will well and truly arrive in Hastings town centre next week.
Priory Meadow Shopping Centre and Hastings BID have revealed more details about this year’s Hastings Christmas Spectacular, due to take place on Friday, November 16 from 5pm to 7pm.
From 5pm to 6pm, visitors can enjoy free live entertainment including a circus skills workshop, fire hula hoop display, fire poi and stilt walker, in Wellington Place.
There will also be a spectacular performance from acrobats in a magical snow globe outside Debenhams, in Robertson Street.
To add to the magic, visitors are being encouraged to look out for the snow and enjoy singing along to your favourite hits from The Greatest Showman.
From 6pm, the circus performers will make their way to Priory Meadow’s Queen’s Square, where the entertainment continues on stage with More Radio and special guest appearances from White Rock Theatre’s Christmas pantomime stars, Michelle Collins and Tim MacArthur. Hastings Stage Studio will also be performing. As always, the Christmas lights will be switched on by Santa followed by a spectacular firework finale at 7pm.
Between 4pm and 6pm, children will also be able to enjoy free glitter face painting in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre and Wellington Place.
Chloe Dyas, marketing and events coordinator at Hastings BID, said: “This event marks the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights, which are funded by town centre businesses via Hastings BID and Priory Meadow itself. New lights have been purchased this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing them help to create a festive atmosphere in the town.”
The evening also marks the start of late-night Christmas shopping in Priory Meadow – gift-buyers will be able to hunt down the perfect presents until 7pm – and on Thursday, November 22, the new outdoor Grotto opens its doors to welcome visitors in to see Santa.
Christmas 2018 will see, for the first time, children meeting Santa in a large double fronted log cabin, which will be situated in Queen’s Square between November 22 and December 24.
The grotto comes with its own performance area to entertain queuing visitors on busy days.
The festive performance area will host carol singers, energetic elves, balloon modellers and complimentary hot chocolates on various selected dates over the period that Santa is in town.
To make way for these changes, the ice rink in Queen’s Square will not be returning.
Stacey Bell, centre manager, said: “We like to keep our events new and exciting, and so we wanted to provide a brand-new experience for our shoppers this Christmas. We have listened to feedback throughout the year and we are very excited to see our new plans come to life.
“The grotto is beautiful and is themed perfectly with snowy Christmas trees and white picket fences. It is the perfect setting to meet Santa and receive a free gift.
“We anticipate the experience to be extremely popular, and although booking isn’t essential, we recommend that you book your tickets online in advance to avoid waiting times and to guarantee a chance to meet Santa.”
Tickets are £4 in November and £5 in December, per child, to include a free gift.
Shoppers are also being told to keep a look out for Random Acts of Kindness taking place at Priory Meadow over the festive period.
For more information such as opening times, prices and performances dates, visit priorymeadow.com or on Facebook @priorymeadowhastings
Further information can be found at www.lovehastings.com.