Hundreds of residents line the street to welcome Father Christmas to Ilford

PUBLISHED: 17:31 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 27 November 2017

Santa's arrival parade at Ilford High Road and The Exchange. With characters from Paw Patrol and Pepper Pig. Photo by Ellie Hoskins

Santa's arrival parade at Ilford High Road and The Exchange. With characters from Paw Patrol and Pepper Pig. Photo by Ellie Hoskins

Ellie Hoskins +44(0)7743306087

Of all the towns in all the world, Father Christmas decided to stop in Ilford this weekend to meet lucky children.

To celebrate the big man in red’s arrival, the Exchange in partnership with Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) threw a welcoming parade, complete with brass band and stilt walkers on Saturday (November 25).

Hundreds of residents battled the cold weather on the High Road to watch the event which was filled with A-list guests including, Sky, Chase and Rubble from Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig.

After being entertained by a troop of dancers, and waving to Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Linda Huggett, the crowd in good spirits followed Santa into the Exchange to meet him in his grotto.

Dancers handed out candy canes and residents of all ages got into the festive swing of things and moved along to the Chrismas music.

BID manager, Ben Collins said Santa arrived in style and was supported by Disney princesses, skating Christmas puddings, and giant Christmas presents.

“We wanted to mark the start of Christmas in Ilford with a big, fun, family event and we have achieved this,” he said.

“The parade was a big success with hundreds of people enjoying the event.

“We encourage people to visit Santa in his grotto in The Exchange and also take part in our reindeer trail to find the hidden reindeers throughout the town centre.”

Will Stallon, Starbucks manager said: “There was a fantastic family atmosphere in the town and we were extremely busy.

“A great start to Christmas and we hope it will continue.”

For full details on more Christmas activities in Ilford visit

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You don’t have to make the trek to the North Pole to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

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