The Southampton Christmas Festival returns for another year.
The festival will again feature a traditional German market, and the incredible flying Santa will be returning to the skies above Southampton’s city centre precinct.
The 2018 Southampton Christmas Festival will open with the Countdown to Christmas event outside the Marlands on Thursday 15 November. The event, one of the region’s largest, is organised by GO! Southampton Business Improvement District (BID) in collaboration with The Marlands Shopping Centre and Southampton City Council. There will be live entertainment (from 4pm) which will be hosted by Wave 105’s Mark Collins and include music, show performances and stars from the Mayflower pantomime. They’ll call upon some Christmas magic to bring our festive lights to life, with the countdown at 6:30pm.
At 7pm, after the countdown, you can enjoy Santa’s first flight. After the show, Santa will invite children to join him at the large advent calendar to hand out small treats to all. (Provided they have been good!)
To add a little extra special Christmas magic to the Christmas Festival, there will be two Flying Santa Shows each day - Monday to Saturday at 5pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 4pm and 6pm. Each show lasts approximately 15 minutes, and they are weather dependent.
Back on solid ground, Above Bar pedestrian precinct will again host a traditional festive market operated by internationally renowned WELA Märkte, which will run through to Saturday 23 December. Featuring alpine themed chalets with traditional German fayre, you can enjoy a delicious bratwurst or waffles, gingerbread hearts or even a mulled wine or cold stein of beer.
As well as over 40 stallholders offering a range of goods including authentic traditional hand-made gifts, this free festival also boasts regular festive entertainment with musicians and carol singers performing daily. Chalets are open 10am to 8pm daily, with the bars staying open for a further two hours in the evening, until 10pm.
Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, Councillor Satvir Kaur said:
"We’re delighted that the festival will be returning to the streets of Southampton again this year, following its popularity in previous years. I’m particularly excited to welcome back our unique flying Santa, which has become a firm family favourite!
It’s great to see the Christmas offer in Southampton growing year by year, now with ice rinks, pantos and daily live music. Southampton is a real destination for Christmas, and we look forward to welcoming people from our city and across the region over the festive season."
Find out more about Southampton Christmas Festival