CHRISTMAS comes to a Reading shopping centre this weekend, as stars from The Hexagon’s pantomime switch-on the Christmas lights.
Broad St. Mall is expecting hundreds of visitors for the event, which starts at 2.30pm on Saturday, November 16.
Community entertainers will wow crowds before Neal Veglio arrives at 3.30pm. He will be joined by Father Christmas and his mischievous elves, plus the Dame and Cinderella from the cast of The Hexagon.
And the centre will also open the doors of its new Elf Station for a special private charity event for Dingley’s Promise who work with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the early years.
Launching from 11am on Sunday, the Elves will open their workshop between 11am and 5pm, every Saturday and Sunday until December 22.
Shoppers are invited to bring their little ones to enjoy free festive crafts and letter writing, plus the opportunity to pose for ‘elfies’ and take home a free printed family photo and sweet treat.
If they’re really lucky they may even catch a glimpse of the big man in red too as he’ll be keeping a watchful eye over the Elf Station.
Broad St. Mall will be raising funds for Dingley’s Promise, which works from – among other sites – All Saints School in Norreys.
Nicola Williamson, Centre Manager, Broad St. Mall says, “We’re really looking forward to launching Christmas in Reading! In collaboration with the BID, our Elf Station is brand new for this year and the first experience of its kind in the town.
“We can’t wait to welcome families into the centre to join in the fun.”
She added: “Community is at the heart of everything we do and so we wanted to host a free festive event for families to enjoy whilst also offering a worthwhile local charity the chance to benefit.”
Catherine McLeod MBE, Chief Executive, Dingley’s Promise, said: “We are so excited about being involved with the Elf Station this year.
“Not only will our children have the chance to come and meet Santa, but it is a chance for the local community to support families who often struggle over the Christmas period.
“We can’t wait to join in the fun and are so happy to be working in partnership with Broad St. Mall and Reading BID.”