VIDEO: Santa's Puppet Reindeer Parade at Meadowhall - FIRST LOOK
THERE are no strings attached to a new world exclusive free attraction wowing families this Christmas at Sheffield's Meadowhall - say hello to Santa's Puppet Reindeer Parade.
It takes three puppeteers to step inside and control one of the giant 7ft mechanical creatures.
Dad, Mum and baby Rascal reindeers are being brought to life by puppet experts behind West End smash War Horse.
With breath-taking natural movements and reindeer sounds, the astonishingly lifelike creatures come alive with their own friendly personalities.
Huge crowds turned out for a sneak peek and selfies as Santa led the head of the family out to introduce shoppers to the amazing festive spectacle. The puppet was mobbed like a pop star.
Seeing Is Believing is the Christmas promotional message at Sheffield's Meadowhall this year and bosses say the reindeer parade is helping to drive that homeWith over 290 retailers, more than 50 places to eat and drink and 12,000 free parking spaces, it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 with a Â£60 million internal refurbishment programme, almost complete, including new Christmas lights.
Darren Pearce, Centre Director at Meadowhall said: “The expertise which has gone into making the reindeer family is truly astounding. We’re thrilled to be hosting such an individual and enchanting Christmas experience.”
Andy Brunskill and Jimmy Grimes are the creative masterminds behind the reindeer puppet parade. They worked on War Horse in the West End.
Andy, director at Brunskill and Grimes, said: "We weren't sure how the crowds would react but they loved it."
Jimmy added: "Working on War Horse We both learned a lot about the power of the puppets, working the show for three years. We learned how much detail and sensitivity you can find in puppetry."
* The Parade, with varying routes, will run for four weeks from November 22. With three 20 minute performances a day, Monday to Saturday, except Tuesdays, at 11.30am, 4pm and 6pm, and Sundays at 11:30am and 4pm. Each will be announced with the sound of reindeer bells ringing. For more details visit www.meadowhall.co.uk/reindeer.
WIN CHANCE TO MEET THE REINDEER PUPPETS AND SANTA
One lucky shopper can win a meet and greet with the reindeer puppets and Santa Claus, then walk with the parade through the centre. Deadline for entries is midnight on December 15, 2017. Full details, terms and conditions at www.meadowhall.co.uk.