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All Aboard the Santa Trains to Christmas in Castletown 28 November 2011

Santa TrainIf you’re making plans for the festive season, be sure not to miss this year’s Santa trains which will take you on a magical journey to Christmas in Castletown and Santa’s magical Christmas Kingdom at Castle Rushen.

This special day out is the ideal opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere in Castletown, where Santa’s little helpers have been hard at work creating a Narnia themed winter wonderland which will include falling snow and festive lights for children to enjoy. The many attractions include Father Christmas at Castle Rushen, Christmas lights and a nativity scene, Christmas Carousel ride, family games, farmers market and festive market stalls.

There will a Christmas Shop at Castle Rushen stocking distinctly Manx Christmas gifts, with some gifts only available from Manx National Heritage, whilst Castletown Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Prize Draw in participating shops.

Festive music will resound throughout the town with live performances by Victoria Road School Choir, Castletown Band, Manx Saxophone Ensemble, and a host of musical entertainers, with a special programme printed to mark the occasion.

Castle Rushen will be beautifully decorated by members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage who are hard at work making traditional decorations including garlands, Christmas wreathes and tree decorations, whilst festive window paintings and games have been created by prisoners participating in the Isle of Man Prison Arts Project.

Santa in his Christmas KingdomEdmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:

“We are delighted to work in partnership with so many other agencies. Tinseltown is a real community event, which shows the Island at its best. Castle Rushen has been at the heart of the Manx community for over 800 years and we are very pleased to use this fantastic building in such an enjoyable and family friendly way.”

To enjoy the full atmosphere of this special event, be sure to take the Santa train, which departs from Douglas on 3, 4, 10, 11 and 17 December at 09:50am, 11:15am, 12:50pm and 14:15pm, and Port Erin on December 17 December at 10:10am and 13:10pm. Tickets include shuttle bus to the Christmas Market and a visit and quality gift from Father Christmas in his magical kingdom at Castle Rushen. For those that do not want to ride the last train back and wish continue on with festive cheer in Castletown, Santa Train tickets will also be valid for free travel on selected buses.

If you take your Santa tickets to The George Hotel, they will give you a free mince pie and mulled wine (adults only and while stocks last).

The fun starts 09:50am on Saturday 3 December, when the first Santa train will depart from Douglas Station to Castletown, which has been renamed ‘Tinseltown’ for this special occasion. If you can’t make it on the train, pop down to Castletown to savour the wonderful atmosphere.

‘More Music 3FM’ will be spreading the festive cheer from 2pm on Saturday 3rd December, collecting Christmas gifts in Castletown Square for children who may not receive any presents this year. Presents need to be new and unwrapped when handed in to the team of Santa’s Little Helpers in Castletown Square. From 4pm onwards, complimentary wine and mince pies will be available at both Isle of Man Bank and Lloyds TSB who will be welcoming customers old and new. There will be a lantern parade by the children of Victoria Road School at 4.30pm and Castletown Christmas Light Switch on at 5pm on 3 December. An ice sculpture by Iceman Studios will also be on display in the Speakers Garden, exclusively on 3rd December until the sculpture melts.

Festive food will be available in the town centre, including crepes, hog roast, roast chestnuts, mince pies, mulled wine and warm seasonal refreshments, whilst Castletown’s cafes and restaurants are taking bookings for meals over the festive season.

Colin Leather, Castletown Commissioners said:

“From taking the Santa Train to enjoying the many attractions including Christmas Carousel, festive lights and markets to visiting Father Christmas at Castle Rushen, there really is something for everyone. The event promises to be a great family day out and a wonderful opportunity to support the many local traders in Castletown. This really does promise to be a special event for families and visitors to enjoy. Special thanks go to all those who have assisted with the event including Isle of Man Railways, Manx National Heritage, Victoria Road School, Castle Rushen High School, Isle of Man Prison Arts Project, Friends of Manx National Heritage, Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, 3FM, A3 Marquees, Ocean Ford, Castletown Insurance Services, G4S, Manx Telecom, Alexander Elliott, Lloyds TSB Offshore, Hugh Logan Architects, Isle of Man Bank, Shell Ship Management, Clear View Aerials, Iceland, Ramsey Crookall & Co, S & S Motors, Hartford Homes, Heron & Brearley, Iceman Studios, Island Landscapes, Heritage Homes, Isle of Man Post, S100, Lloyd and Humphreys, ELS Lighting Solutions, Castletown traders and the many staff and volunteers who have assisted with delivering the event”.

Christmas in Castletown takes place on December 3, 4, 10, 11 and 17 and everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fun.

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