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Santas needed for Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on

Do you want to be a Santa?

Minster-on-Sea Rotarians need a whole sleigh of them for their annual Santa Saunter for the Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on later this month.

The annual Sheppey Santa Saunter in Sheerness organised by Minster Rotary Club (20620413)
The annual Sheppey Santa Saunter in Sheerness organised by Minster Rotary Club (20620413)

Club president Andy Brown said: "We need as many as possible to really paint the town red.

"The event is becoming incredibly popular but we can always find room for more. All groups and individuals of any age are welcome. Families often bring along their children who take part as elves."

Wannabe Santas need to apply in advance. The £5 fee (£3 for under-12s) includes a free Santa suit.

Andy added: "Santas can be sponsored. Groups and individuals are free to raise money for their own good causes."

Sheppey Santas on their 'saunter' for the Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on (20888470)
Sheppey Santas on their 'saunter' for the Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on (20888470)

The annual stroll began as a run but Andy admitted: "Some of our members weren't quite up to that, so we have turned it into a gentle saunter."

It starts at 3pm from the Old House at Home pub in Sheerness High Street on Saturday, November 30 - the town's Christmas lights switch-on day. Registration is from 2pm with a 15-minute warm-up at 2.45pm.

Sheppey's award-winning St John Ambulance Band will lead the Santas who will gather at the clock tower for a Christmas conga and then sing festive songs.

Andy said: "You can register and pay on the day but it helps us to know numbers in advance."

Jenny Hurkett of Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club's singing carols at the Sheppey Santa Saunter in Sheerness (20888467)
Jenny Hurkett of Minster-on-Sea Rotary Club's singing carols at the Sheppey Santa Saunter in Sheerness (20888467)

Call him on 07951 057860 or email andrew.b@live.co.uk to get a form.

The town is also gearing up for the lights switch-on organised by the Sheerness Town Team.

Swale mayor Cllr Ken Ingleton and Sheerness Town Council chairman Matt Brown have been asked to help turn them on together with some surprise guests.

There will be a market in the High Street, children's funfair rides and free entertainment from 10am including stilt-walking juggler Allan Swan, Becki Breiner's Sing and Sign, the Toil and Trouble witches, Medway Lindy Hoppers and singer Alex Nicole.

Father Christmas will be at home at Jacksonwood tea rooms and at the Cottage of Curiosities museum.

Chris Reed of Big Fish Arts leads the Sheppey lantern parade at the Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on (20889730)
Chris Reed of Big Fish Arts leads the Sheppey lantern parade at the Sheerness Christmas lights switch-on (20889730)

Big Fish Arts' lantern parade led by Chris Reed begins at 4pm from Beachfields.

Lantern-making workshops cost £2 on Saturday November 16 and Saturday November 23 from 11am at the Sheppey Gateway in Sheerness.

Call Chris Reed on 07775 712306 or email chrisonsheppey@aol.com for details.

Last year the parade packed the streets with almost 300 participants.

Read more: All the latest news from the Isle of Sheppey

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