‘Express’ grotto introduced at Norfolk event as demand to visit Santa soars

PUBLISHED: 14:41 06 November 2018

Santa is already busy with a string of  bookings in Great Yarmouth Picture Getty Images

Santa is already busy with a string of bookings in Great Yarmouth Picture Getty Images


A personalised Santa experience has proved so popular organisers have had to create an ‘express’ visit in a second grotto to ensure young visitors are not disappointed.

James Sinclair, with a photograph of his son Dylan, who died in March 2015 at the age of seven. Picture: David HannantJames Sinclair, with a photograph of his son Dylan, who died in March 2015 at the age of seven. Picture: David Hannant

James Sinclair said he was totally taken aback by the enthusiastic response to his family event which sees parents priming Santa via an online questionnaire to make the encounter extra magical.

During their visit children will meet the man himself and receive a named present chosen especially for them.

And already hundreds of people have booked their place in Santa’s busy schedule.

“It has gone a bit too well,” said Mr Sinclair who now faces setting up a second grotto for visitors to his fun day being staged at Great Yarmouth Racecourse on December 1.

MORE: Great Yarmouth father raises awareness of Batten disease following the death of his seven-year-old son

The 32-year-old of Kings Road, Gorleston has held four summer fun days at the same venue in memory of his young son Dylan and the charity that helped him.

The most recent saw some 12,000 people support the event, raising £4,500 for the Battens Disease Family Association which funds research into the rare, degenerative illness for which there is no treatment.

Staging the Christmas edition was a new challenge, he said, and a properly festive fun event.

He said: “The summer one was really good this year and I thought: ‘Why not do a Christmas one?’”

Mr Sinclair’s fundraising efforts started with a teddy tombola and have grown into a series of fun days attended by thousands and growing every year.

As well as raising money, he said, he enjoyed masterminding the events and the nail-biting excitement of how it would go on the day.

The Christmas event will feature real reindeer, snow globe acrobats, carol singers, craft workshops and letters for Santa.

There will also be a Charles Dickens enactor telling stories.

Mr Sinclair who has a seven year old son said he wanted to provide “something different.”

Entry on the day which runs from 4-9pm is £4, including a firework finale at 8.50pm after the reindeer are taken off site.

Ticket sales have been registered from as far as the West Midlands, London, and Essex.

To book tickets click the link here or search the event on Facebook.

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