Stafford’s Santa Parade & Christmas Lights Switch On

Posted on November 23rd, by Daniel Cadden in News. No Comments

Stafford Santa Parade 2013 Eager Crowds Await in The Market Square

Eager Crowds Await in The Market Square ahead of the parade’s arrival

Stafford’s Town Centre Goes Festive

Quick Links

> Santa Parade Image Gallery
> Christmas Lights Switch-on Image Gallery
> See an animated slideshow featuring photos from the parade and the light’s switch-on

The Santa Parade

November 23rd saw Stafford people turning out in droves as they started getting into the festive spirit. The cold and frosty morning gave way to hordes congregating in Market Square and filling the surrounding streets ready for Stafford’s famous Santa Parade. I was lucky enough to join in the festivities, photographing the event in it’s entirety and capturing some sense of the great atmosphere.

The Santa Parade is organised by Stafford Borough Council.  Many businesses and local organisations lent their support making the parade great success. Thousands lined the streets, many eagerly filming and photographing the event. It was a great spectacle and a fantastic photo opportunity to boot.  I indulged in some street photography and thus I was really pleased by the mass turnout. It meant that there was no shortage in photo opportunities.

Stafford FM's DJ Monkey entertains waiting crowds

Stafford FM’s DJ Monkey entertains the eager waiting crowds

Post House Hog Roast

Chef’s outside the Post House with a Hog Roast

Mike the Knight makes a celebrity appearance at the Stafford Santa Parade

Mike the Knight – special guest star for the Santa Parade

Mike the Knight & DJ Bear soaking up the festivities

CBeebies’ Mike the Knight and Stafford FM’s DJ Bear keep each other company

Stafford Town Crier, Peter Taunton, Poses for the camera

Stafford Town Crier, Peter Taunton, Leads the Santa Parade

The Stafford Borough Mayoress

The Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Angela Loughran arrives in Market Square to oversee the procession

Stafford Lancers on Parade

The Stafford Lancers on Parade

The St. Mary's Float

This Viking head’s up St. Mary’s float

Stan Robinson Lorries did dutiful service dressed up as parade floats

A Stan Robinson lorry doing dutiful service as parade float haulage

Stan Robinson driver sporting festive glasses

The Stan Robin drivers were in swing with the festive spirit

A jester in shades partaking in the Santa Parade

No Christmas parade is complete without an Elf!

A pony in the parade posed for it's photograph

This pony posed for it’s photography during the parade

Stafford Santa Parade Jester

A large jester for a large parade! (Or is it a clown? I can’t tell!)

Large fairy in drag riding a segway

A fairy. Gliding about on a segway. Such a bright halo too!

Santa's sleigh guided by rudolph and his handler

Santa arrives on his sleigh, skillfully guided by Rudolph (and his handler)

Father Christmas arrives in Market Square

The guest of honour, Father Christmas, arrives in style

A man in long furs complete with snow beard

An arctic explorer in yeti fur?

Is this big bird? Man feathers!

Is this big bird aging gracefully? I’m not sure but the feathers rock

Boys brigade trumpeter on parade

The boys brigade marching band kept perfect time

Save Stafford Hospital's Accute Services

The campaign against culling key services at Stafford Hospital was well represented at the parade

Stop HS2 campaign at the Stafford Santa Parade

…as was another campaign, “Stop HS2″

The very merry Staffordshire Rescue driver in the santa parade

The very merry Staffordshire Rescue driver

Staffordshire Fire Brigade coursing along in the Santa Parade

The Fire Brigade garnered immeasurable swooning

Stafford Mayor with an adoring fan

My final photograph from the parade, the Mayor with an adoring fan

The Christmas Lights Switch-on

During the evening, the masses returned – this time in seemingly larger numbers for the Stafford’s Christmas lights switch on. It was a doubly important occasion as the town was also marking it’s 1100th birthday.

Stafford Christmas Lights Switch-on mass crowds gather

People wait in their thousands for the magic moment – The Christmas lights being switched on

Many star guests appeared to help switch the lights on, including:

And hosting the event, DJs Tim Wedgewood (BBC Radio Stoke) and Stu Haycock (Stafford FM)

Guests on the Stafford FM Stage for the Stafford Christmas Light's Switch On

Guests on the Stafford FM Stage for the Stafford Christmas Light’s Switch On

Joining the stage line-up was the real star guest of the evening, 11 year-old Orla Fielder.  Orla was chosen from 15 inspirational children nominated by the Staffordshire community.  You can watch a video telling Orla’s story here. With lots of energy pulsing through them, the crowd counted down Orla’s throwing of the big lever…

Orla Fielder switches on Stafford's Christmas Lights 2013

Orla Fielder switches on Stafford’s Christmas Lights

…and with a little assistance from the Mayor, onlookers were not only treated to Stafford’s Christmas illuminations, but an impressive fireworks display from atop the Guildhall Shopping Centre.

Fireworks commemorate Stafford's 1100th Birthday

and the fireworks commemorate Stafford’s 1100th birthday

Stafford's Market Square Christmas Tree

The illuminated Christmas Tree in Market Square

After the display, the crowds quickly dispersed and I was able to capture this 180 degree panorama showing off the lights:

Market Square Panorama showing Stafford's Christmas Lights

With Orla’s magic the light’s are switched on

If you feature in any of these photographs, you are welcome to let me know via Facebook or Twitter. All efforts have been made to ensure the facts in this article are correct. To advise me of any errata or request omission, you can contact me using these details.

Stafford Santa Parade Photos

Christmas Light Switch-on Photos

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Commercial, PR and wedding photographer based in Stafford. Fully passionate about photography. Dabbles in web design, SEO, content marketing. Enjoys eating pies, reading, long walks and riding a bike.

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