Santa visited the Waterside at the weekend to see who has been naughty or nice and hand out a few early Christmas presents to Caw & Nelson Drive residents, thanks to a Housing Executive community involvement grant of almost £1,700.
Despite his busy schedule, Father Christmas and his helpers were in town to spread some festive cheer at the Santa’s grotto event on Friday and Saturday, organised by Caw & Nelson Drive Action Group (C&NDAG).
Santa left Rudolph and the other reindeer at home in the North Pole and instead made his way through Sperrin Park in a horse-drawn carriage to greet families with a jolly ‘Ho, Ho, Ho'.
Crowds waved and took snaps as he rolled into the Crescent Community & Cultural Centre which was transformed into a winter wonderland and grotto.
Once inside, excited children had a chance to tell him about the gifts they hope to get on Christmas Day, and had their photo taken with the big man and his elves. At Mrs Claus’ kitchen they were given a goody bag, refreshments and a festive book.
Housing Executive Waterside Neighbourhood Officer Carly King said: “This was a great day out for children and adults alike. We were excited to be able to help bring some festive cheer to the local community, put smiles on children’s faces and of course welcome Santa to the area.
“Staff and volunteers carried out the roles of Santa, Mrs Claus and elf helpers. They did a fabulous job and made things really magical for those attending.
“A massive well done to them. I was smiling from the minute I walked into the centre until I left, it certainly did my heart good.”
CNDAG’s centre manager Linda Watson said: “Huge thanks to the Housing Executive for helping to make this year’s event possible.
“It was lovely to see Carly King, the Waterside neighbourhood officer calling in to visit Santa and taking time to speak to some of the families attending the grotto.
“Santa and his helpers were giving out presents, spreading some festive joy and helping to raise community spirit among the residents in the Caw & Nelson Drive area. It was a wonderful winter treat for everyone.”