Tuesday, 17 December 2013

When Santa Claus Came to Town

Santa at the start of the Parade near the Fire Station on
Monmouth Road
Yes he really did come to Usk! Santa's visit, with his real reindeer, was timed to coincide with Usk's Winter Festival which had a busy Christmas Market and live music stage in Twyn Square on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th Dec. Thousands of people flocked to Usk over the weekend to enjoy shopping at the craft and local produce stalls in the market and to watch the wonderful torch lit Reindeer Parade through the town on Sunday evening.

The Christmas Market stalls in Twyn Square

Usk has had an annual visit from Santa and his Cairngorm Reindeer for many years to the delight of  children and adults alike,  but the cost of doing this may prove to be prohibitive in the future. I joined the rear of the parade behind Santa's sleigh dressed in Victorian costume with a collecting bucket,  but although some people gave generously, sadly many more (mainly visitors to Usk, rather than residents), turned their backs on myself and the other collectors,  seemingly expecting such things to just 'happen' year on year without any type of contribution on their part. Maybe it would help folk to know that the Reindeer Parade costs Usk Town Council about £3,000 to run, with the cost of the reindeer team and the charge for closing the road. It will be sad if this is the last one, but in this era of  an ever dwindling public purse it is completely understandable.

After the parade, the reindeer enjoyed a rest on the lawn outside
 The Sessions House
Reindeer calf learning the ropes from mum

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