Dorset

Reinstated Poole Santa parade takes place

Santa and Poole's panto stars arrived by RNLI boat as has been happening in previous years Image copyright Ken Larkman-Cooper
Image caption Santa and Poole's panto stars arrived by RNLI boat

A Santa parade which was cancelled over crowd fears has taken place following a public campaign.

The event, which attracts up to 10,000 people has run for the past 40 years in Poole, Dorset.

It was cancelled earlier in the year because of safety concerns, but more than 2,400 people signed petitions to have the event reinstated.

Campaigner Ryan Stiggants said: "Thousands of people were there and everyone was enjoying it."

Image copyright Ken Larkman-Cooper
Image caption Father Christmas used the land train to travel along Poole quay

Poole Borough Council and local businesses organised the parade and free "festive fun" event on Sunday after The Dolphin Shopping Centre decided not to hold the annual event.

The centre's manager John Grinnell said: "We've become a victim of our own success.

"As we've seen the numbers swell every year, we've become increasingly concerned about the volume of people in such a confined space, especially around moving vehicles."

Image copyright Ken Larkman-Cooper
Image caption Father Christmas spent much of the day meeting all the children who came out to see him

As with previous events, Father Christmas arrived by RNLI boat to the quay.

The parade on Sunday went length-ways up and down the quay instead of along the High Street, and featured stars of the local pantomime and the Mayor of Poole, councillor Peter Adams.

Mr Stiggants said he was "pleased" the campaign worked.

Image copyright Ken Larkman-Cooper
Image caption The parade included drum-playing Spider-Men

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