Mass parade of Santas in North Yorkshire town!

The public of Pateley Bridge showed how Christmas should be done when a 100 Santas paraded done its main shopping street.

And a weekend which saw the award-winning Dales town become, perhaps, the most Christmassy town in Britain, also boasted the most successful late-night opening in the town’s recent history.

Part of the massive 'Santas Parade' in Pateley Bridge. (1712161AM13)

The Santa-tastic two days of festive fun included live music, a treasure hunt and a great deal of fundraising for charity, all of which local residents responded to with a genuine "ho ho ho".

But the highlight was undoubtedly the Santa procession late on Saturday morning which alone raised £1,000 for Dementia Forward.

David Hinchliffe of Artful Arts in Pateley Bridge hailed the event a big hit.

He said: “The Santa procession was great to see and the crowds lining the street matched when the Tour de Yorkshire came through Pateley Bridge earlier in the year.

“It’s been great for the businesses of the whole of Nidderdale and the locals.”

Tim Ledbetter of Sypeland Outdoors said: “The Santa procession goes down in the history of events held in Pateley Bridge as a resounding success.”

The fun started on Friday night with the annual late night opening on the High Street for Christmas shoppers. It’s the 15th year of this traders’ traditional event and the weather turned out to be fine, bringing large crowds onto the High Street, Kings Court and Bridgehouse Gate.

Special guest Santa Claus walked around greeting families and speaking with the children about what they hoped to get for Christmas.

Shoppers said the atmosphere was truly magical.

Keith Tordoff, chairman of organisers Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves on a traditional High Street which with its decorations and entertainers created a proper Christmas setting and atmosphere.

“Businesses reported a successful trading evening and, importantly, that they had been able to thank and engage with their loyal customers who have supported them throughout the year.”

Entertaining shoppers were the Dacre and Summerbridge Silver Band and members of Nidd Chorale and the Playhouse choir.

Martin Dunleavy, with help from Alderman Leslie Ellington, provided hot food on the street, raising money for the Nidderdale Scouts.

The following day not only saw the Santa procession and a treasure hunt involving lots of Pateley Bridge businesses but also the unveiling of a plaque marking the town's stunning victory in the Great British High Street competition last year.

Paul Kendall of Kendall Farm Butchers and Fishmongers said: "What a cracking late night and Saturday for Pateley Bridge and my businesses.

"The place was buzzing and my takings are up compared to the equivalent late night and Saturday of last year."

Keith Tordoff, said: "What a way to welcome in Christmas and to cap off a truly remarkable year for Pateley Bridge."

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