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Join traders in Sandwich for day of Christmas fun including a Santa’s grotto and a real Nativity scene

By Eleanor Perkins

The event from 11am until 7.30pm has been organised by Card Gallery owner John Van Der Dol and other traders for the second running.

It will include a Santa’s grotto, a Nativity scene with real donkeys, and live music.

Last year's Christmas party in King Street, Sandwich

Last year's Christmas party in King Street, Sandwich

Mr Van Der Dol said: “I’ve been trading here for 20 years, and the year before last the atmosphere was dull. You wouldn’t have known it was Christmas.

“I got fed up with it so approached other traders and said, ‘Next year we’re going to have a party’.”

Hundred of residents turned out to soak up the atmosphere with their children and grandchildren in 2015.

Mr Van Der Dol added: “This year, it’s going to be even bigger with more entertainment after dark.

“We just want people to have a great time.”

Santa’s Grotto will be based in the Goats That Dance coffee rooms, with the cafe being transferred out into the street.

A real nativity scene, organised by The Rotary Club of Sandwich, will fill St Peter’s Church gardens.

Andrew Roger and his mum Angela Roger at last year's party

Andrew Roger and his mum Angela Roger at last year's party

Choirs, including Singing 4 Life, will perform throughout the day, with more than 100 members of The Rock Choir performing at 4.30pm, followed by a set from Justin and The Argonauts at 5.30pm. There will also be stalls selling mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, and two street entertainers.

Artificial snow and a professional light display will round off the day.

Mr Van Der Dol said: “All are invited.

“Should the weather be terrible, we’ll make the call the night before and we can go into the church.”

The event has been sponsored by Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund, Dover District Council, Discovery Park and The Co-operative, and the candy floss machine is sponsored by Nick Cunningham Plumbing.

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