St Catherine’s to become a Winter Wonderland for next week’s Christmas Festival

Santa will make an appearance in his grotto at the St Catherine's Hospice Christmas Festival
Santa will make an appearance in his grotto at the St Catherine's Hospice Christmas Festival
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A giant snow globe and real reindeers are just two of the exciting new attractions confirmed for this year’s St Catherine’s Christmas Festival.

The Lostock Hall hospice will transform its grounds into a winter wonderland for the event next weekend, and this time it is set to be extra special as the charity’s milestone 30th year draws to a close.

“After our summer of special 30th birthday events, we’re determined to ensure the year ends on a high with a fantastic Christmas Festival, featuring new attractions which we hope offer something for everyone.”

Festival organiser Rachel Hewitt

The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6, with Sunday’s event also featuring the annual St Catherine’s sponsored Santa Dash and Rudolph Rumble.

The charity’s target in the 30th anniversary Give A Gift campaign – run in partnership with the Lancashire Evening Post – is to have 300 Santas and Rudolphs taking part.

The highlight of Saturday’s event is set to be the visit of reindeers Rudolph and Blitzen – festival goers will be able to have their photo taken with them and their sleigh, and feed them some reindeer food.

Other attractions which will be there for the whole weekend include a giant snow globe which visitors can have fun inside, a craft fayre, gift stalls, a pop-up ice rink, Santa’s grotto and festive entertainment.

Tasty winter warmers such as hog roast, chilli and nachos, parched peas and roasted chestnuts will also be served.

The hospice is launching the #MySnowGlobeSelfie campaign to coincide with the festival, and will be encouraging people to snap a selfie and upload it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tagging the charity and helping to spread the word about the event.

Rachel Hewitt, head of trading at St Catherine’s and festival organiser, is encouraging people to put the event in their diaries and join in the fun.

She said: “We have had an incredible year celebrating our 30th anniversary in all sorts of different ways and have been delighted with the support we’ve received from the local community.

“After our summer of special 30th birthday events, we’re determined to ensure the year ends on a high with a fantastic Christmas Festival, featuring new attractions which we hope offer something for everyone.

“We’re particularly excited to have the reindeers here on the Saturday for the first time – they are such a symbol of Christmas and we know the children are going to love meeting a real-life Rudolph in the flesh!

“The snow globe is also new for 2015 and we’re looking forward to seeing our supporters perfecting their pouts and sharing their selfies.”

She added: “Not only is the festival a great Christmas event which brings the community together, it also raises important funds to pay for the specialised care St Catherine’s provides.

“As we end our 30th year and look ahead to 2016, it’s important that we can build on all that we’ve achieved with our supporters’ help this year, to ensure that the hospice can continue caring for local people now, and in the future.”

Leyland Trucks has once again offered its support by allowing the hospice to operate a park and ride system from the firm’s nearby car park. Regular shuttle buses will be running between the hospice and the factory between 10.45am and 3.15pm each day.

Registration for the Santa Dash is £10 for adults and £5 for under 18s, while the Rudolph Rumble – for eights and under – costs £5. All include either a Santa suit or red nose and antlers. To sign up visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 629171.