The Whitworth Tourism and Leisure Committee volunteers had been busy coming up with a covid-safe alternative to the Christmas Light Switch On and judging by the public response we think they cracked it!
They invited Santa to ride around in their custom-built light up sleigh and greet all the children (and adults!). They covered 16 miles over two nights, Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December, driving up and down all the main routes in Whitworth and Shawforth waving to the children.
Families were told the route in advance and asked to stand on their doorstep or at the end of their street to watch him pass by. He was given a proper Whitworth welcome with hundreds of families stood out in the cold. The children were mesmerised and the adults were excited too and it wasn’t just for the young families there were elderly couples waving and the residents at Barley View care home rolled out the red carpet for Santa – it really did bring the whole community together, at a safe distance. The event was just what was needed after a long year of restrictions. Watch the video of the Santa Express here!
As the boys and girls have been extra good this year, especially with everything they have had to deal with during these difficult times - Santa has a small window in his busy schedule so he is going to make another visit to you.
As Santa’s time is precious at this time of year, he has had to amend the original routes slightly, unfortunately he won’t have time in his extra busy schedule to make stops along the route but he would love it if you could come out and give him a wave on Sunday 20th December. He has also agreed to come back next year so it will become a regular feature in the Whitworth calendar and hopefully with some added extras next year!
The event was funded by proceeds raised by the Tourism and Leisure Committee, if you want to support them to hold future community events, the easiest way to do that is by sponsoring a duck for the world famous Annual Whitworth Duck Race. The process is simple, you sponsor a numbered rubber duck for £1 which gets entered in a race down Cowm Reservoir overflow against 1999 other fine specimens of rubber ducks! The winning three ducks get cash prizes of £100, £75 and £50 and even the last duck wins a tenner. This year rather than watching the race at the res you will be able to watch it online at 1pm on New Years Day and ducks can be sponsored in advance at local shops and businesses or online
The volunteers will try to stick to the timings and route as much as possible but this could vary depending on traffic and weather conditions. The idea is that people watch and wave from their doorsteps, where this is not possible people can watch and wave from the pavement as long as households are not gathering and current lockdown restrictions allow this. If crowds are forming or people are not adhering to the guidelines then the event will be stopped.