Christmas Parade signals start of festive season

By on 08/11/2011 in Culture, News

There's a distinctly traditional feel to this year's spectacular Christmas Parade on Saturday 12 November, when Father Christmas is joined by Mary and Joseph, and the Three Wise Men … riding real camels!

Marking the start of the festive season when Birmingham's Lights are switched on, two sleighs pulled by Rudolph and his reindeer head the parade with Father Christmas, the Lord Mayor and the Lord Mayor's Consort escorted by a party of elves. 

Bringing the real meaning of Christmas to the parade, they will be closely followed by a traditional nativity scene float with Mary, Joseph and a donkey and the Three Wise Men on camels.

Helping Father Christmas on his way through Birmingham city centre will be all our favourite Christmas characters.  Expect to see larger than life Jack Frosts, Christmas Trees, Crackers, Holly, Mistletoe, Angels and even some Tap Dancing Turkeys! 

You can also get a taste of Birmingham's Christmas productions with a chance to see the REP's beautiful Sleeping Beauty and a pink Cadillac, T Birds and the Pink Ladies from the New Alexandra's Christmas production of Grease.  But watch out for Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers!

At the rear of the parade will be an illuminated smiley land train with four lucky prizewinning families aboard.  Last of all will be a giant puppet Father Christmas, a massive 4.8 metres high.

Before and after the parade children can meet the stars of the Christmas movie 'Chipwrecked', as life-sized Alvin and the Chipmunks mingle with the crowds in Victoria Square.  There's also a chance to meet the real reindeer, camels and nativity donkey taking part, from 3pm - 4.30pm and after the parade from 6.30pm - 7pm.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture said, “Birmingham's hugely popular Christmas Parade signals the start of the festive season.  It is one of many free and exciting events organised by Birmingham City Council and everyone is invited to join in the celebrations.”

Starting at 5pm, temporary traffic restrictions around Birmingham city centre will be in place with roads re-opening as soon as the Parade has passed.  Roads affected are: Colmore Row, Temple Row West, Temple Row, Cherry Street, Corporation Street and Bull Street.

The Parade line-up and timings are correct at time of going to press but may be subject to change.

- Ends -

Media contact: Debbie Harrison at debbie.harrison@birmingham.gov.uk or on 0121 303 4476

Notes to Editors:

Route Map available on request or online www.birmingham.gov.uk/christmas-parade

Parade Timings:

  • 12 noon - 7pm  Giant Snowglobe in Victoria Square, photographs for £3
  • 3pm - 4.30pm   Animal Pens in Victoria Square - reindeer, camels and the donkey
  • 3.30pm - 4pm  Sovereign Brass Band
  • 5pm - 5.30pm Alvin and the Chipmunks meet and greet
  • 5.30pm - 6.30pm Parade
  • 6.30pm - 7pm Alvin and the Chipmunks meet and greet/Animal Pens in Victoria Square (as before)/some of the parade characters doing a walkabout

Parade includes:

  •  Sleigh one with Father Christmas, a sack of presents, one elf and six reindeer
  •  Sleigh two with Lord Mayor Cllr Anita Ward and the Lord Mayor's Consort, one elf and six reindeer
  •  Remainder of elves
  •  Float 1 - Nativity scene with Mary and Joseph and a real donkey
  •  The Three Wise Men riding real camels (from Joseph's Amazing Camels in Warwickshire)
  •  Hark - two gliding angels
  •  White Ice Fairy stilt walker
  • Toy soldier and doll
  • Three silhouette stilt walkers
  • Someone at the Door samba band
  • Two Christmas Crackers
  • Holly and mistletoe stilt walkers
  • Float 2 - The REP, Sleeping Beauty and The Snowman
  • Darth Vader, six Storm Troopers, two Bounty Hunters and one Biker Scout (UK Garrison)
  • Mother Christmas stilt walker
  • Gold and Silver Stars
  • Roller-skating bauble
  • Spiderman, Supergirl and Cylon (Reel-icons, UK Garrison)
  • Sovereign Brass Band
  • Float 3 - Two white illuminated birds and snow scene
  • Two Tap Dancing Turkeys
  • White Christmas Tree stilt walker
  • Three Snowmen
  • A Roller Skating Christmas Pudding
  • The New Alexandra Theatre – Grease - Pink Cadillac with ten T-Birds and Pink Ladies and a Teen Angel
  • A Gingerbread Man
  • Icicle Bicycle
  • Two Jack Frost stilt walkers
  • Two Penguins
  • BRMB Street Stars Landrover
  • Illuminated Land Train
  • Giant Santa (4.8 metres high!)

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