Newport Rotary Lite's sleigh tour started at the Christmas Lights switch-on last Friday and, from this Saturday, will be visiting most streets across the Newport area.
Newport Rotary Lite’s 'chief elf', Jon Humphreys, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be hitting the streets of the Newport area with Santa and his naughty elves again.
"It will be his first tour since the pandemic.
"Last year, he appeared in several fixed locations around the area which went down very well, but we know what people really love is when he tours the streets – it gives a lot more children and elderly people the chance to see him.
"It’s going to be a tough winter for a lot of people and we want to get out there and bring Christmas cheer to as many people as possible.”
“The reaction when we mentioned this to people at the Christmas lights was just fantastic. More than 100 children queued to see him, they were so excited.
"The sleigh has such a loyal following across the Newport area - it’s wonderful to see. We will be raising money for local good causes - we know many people across our area are struggling already and, as ever with Rotary, every penny will go where it’s promised.”
“To be honest the real joy of doing the sleigh is seeing the reactions of children, their parents and our older citizens.
"Kids literally bounce with excitement when they see our sleigh coming and parents look thrilled – or maybe they’re just welcoming a break for a few minutes!
"We also find our older residents enjoy it too – some don’t see many people in winter and it’s lovely for them to be able to have a chat with Santa or one of the elves. I think the sleigh’s oldest fan so far was a lovely 93-year-old lady – perhaps we’ll break that record this year.
“The money we raise helps those in need, but it’s the reactions of people seeing Santa appearing out of the gloom that really drives us. We want to bring some joy into Christmas.
“It’s a major effort to run the sleigh over so many nights – Santa has to have a driver and six elves every night – so several fantastic local clubs have offered to help us this year. The Lilleshall Wellbeing Ramblers Group, Newport Community Walking Group, Newport ex-Round Tablers, Newport Food Save and Share, and the Newport Bloomers will all be helping Santa.
And Mr Humphreys said: "We’re really grateful for their help. And the support from local businesses has been fantastic – Bellman’s Yard Garage, Log A Log and the Newport Events Company CIC have all really helped us."
Santa and the sleigh will start the tour on Saturday from 4pm on Hampton Drive and Norbroom.
On Sunday, the tour will be in Stone Bridge, Chetwynd Road and Deer Park Drive.
From 5.30pm on Monday, December 5, Santa will visit Beechfields Way, Plough Lane, Sunny Gardens and Forton Glade followed by Avondale, Fair Oak, Chetwynd Grove and Masons Place on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, December 7, the sleigh will be in Broomfield, Greenacres and Hallcroft Farm Grove and, on Thursday, December 8, Santa will visit Victoria Park, Vineyard Road and Fishers Lock.
On Friday, December 9, it will be Vineyard Drive, Lapworth Way and Summerhouse Grove and, from 10am on Saturday, December 10, Santa and the elves will be on Waitrose’s car park.
On Sunday, December 11 they will tour Daniels Cross and Mere Park Gardens from 4pm.
Avenue Road, Audley Park and Underhill Close will be visited on Monday, December 12 – from 5.30pm and on Tuesday, December 13, the sleigh will tour Broadway, Meadow Road, Meadow View Road and Barnmeadow Road.
On Wednesday, December 14, the sleigh will be in Gravelly Drive, Sandiford Crescent, Moorland Road, and High Land Road.
On Thursday, December 15, the sleigh will be on Heathwood Road, Ford Road, Leigh Road and Stretton Avenue and, on Friday, December 16, it will be on Wenlock Drive, Wrekin Avenue, Hawkstone Avenue and Ellesmere Court.
The tour continues into the following week and on Saturday, December 17, from 4pm onwards, Santa and his sleigh will tour Brookside Avenue, Silverdale Close, Farmers Gate, Greenfield Drive and Cowslip Acres.
On Sunday, December 18, the sleigh will visit Ashworth Way, Wallshead and St Andrew’s Way.
The last week of Santa’s sleigh tour starts from 5.30pm on Monday, December 19 on Littlehales Road, The Dale, The Close, Greenvale, Pinewoods and Newtown.
On Tuesday, December 20, the sleigh will tour Lilleshall and, on Wednesday, December 21, it will be in Edgmond.
The sleigh will be outside Waitrose again from 10am on Thursday, December 22, and on the last night of the tour visit Audley Avenue, Chetwynd Gate and Carnival Close from 5.30pm.
“We want as many people as possible to see Santa and the sleigh," added Mr Humphreys.
People can follow the tour on the Newport Shrops Rotary Lite Facebook page.