Santa Claus was everywhere at Mansfield's Winter Festival at Titchfield Park on Saturday, meeting and greeting families such as this one.

Winter Festival is a fun-filled highlight of Mansfield's Christmas

One of the highlights of Mansfield’s Christmas was a Winter Festival, which was enjoyed by hundreds of families at Titchfield Park on Saturday.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 12:12 pm

The all-day bonanza featured Christmas movies, a children’s party and a meet-and-greet session with Santa in a cosy, heated marquee.

Outside in the park, there was a snow machine, walkabout entertainment and food and drink vendors selling treats from pulled pork, hot dogs and burgers to Thai green curry, chips, doughnuts and candyfloss.

But the main attractions took place in the giant marquee, which seated up to 750 people at a time.

Tickets were free, although they had to be booked beforehand. And the entertainment kicked off with a sell-out party in which children enjoyed singing, dancing, playing festive games, making crazy balloons and meeting Santa and his elves.

Throughout the day, three Christmas movies were shown on big screens. First up was ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, followed by the CG-animated comedy ‘Arthur Christmas’ and finally ‘Elf’.

Organised by Mansfield District Council, the Winter Festival was voted a resounding success, even though it was bound by a safety management plan, forcing visitors to abide by new Covid regulations imposed by the government.

Everyone aged 18 and over had to show a Covid pass or proof of a negative lateral flow test within the previous 48 hours. And everyone inside the marquee had to wear a face covering at all times. Hand sanitiser stations were also on hand.

Some ticket-holders decided not to go along, but the council was still delighted with the response to the event.

Coun Stuart Richardson, portfolio holder for regeneration and growth, said: “This was the first time we’ve held an event of this kind. But initial feedback has been very positive and we will look to build on this in future.

“It was great to see hundreds of families enjoying balloon modelling, a stilt-walking reindeer, meeting Santa and enjoying music, dancing and games at the children’s Christmas party.

“People of all ages enjoyed watching a selection of festive films while enjoying free popcorn. A snow machine added to the festive experience, and food and drinks were available from a range of local vendors.

“As an added treat, visitors were given a ‘Christmas In Mansfield’ Santa hat to wear and a wooden Christmas-tree decoration to personalise and keep.

“These are difficult times for everyone and while it was a shame that we couldn’t hold our usual Christmas lights switch-on event, it was lovely to bring a bit of festive cheer to the district.

“Thankyou to teams from across the council who worked hard to adapt our festive celebrations to meet the challenges of Covid and keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Check out our gallery of photos from the event, all kindly supplied by the council.

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