YATE Shopping centre have announced two special Christmas events taking place this year.

Management cancelled Yate’s annual Christmas parade and light switch in September due to coronavirus restrictions but with a little Christmas spirit and some support from Yate Rotary’s club, a Tree of Light and Santa’s Grotto will bring back some festive cheer this December.

The tree will be located near the petrol station facing the Link Road, will be switched on at 4pm on Friday, December 4 with the event being streamed live on the shopping centre’s Facebook site.

The tree will be a place to remember special times by sponsoring a light in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a special family event.

Santa’s Grotto has now been built and is located in its usual place in the heart of the shopping centre.

This year Santa will not be open to meet Father Christmas, but children are encouraged to go and take a peek in the window to see if the can see his elves hard at work in the toy shop.

Andrew Lowrey, Yate Shopping Centre Manager: “This year will be very strange. Even today we are not certain what will be allowed to take place. However, the Tree of Light and grotto will spread Christmas cheer for the festive season. The tree will be a place where we can reflect back on 2020 and previous years whilst looking forward to 2021 with optimism.

“Thank you to our event organisers Jeny Hillson and Robin and our maintenance team for our grotto.

“We hope the children enjoy watching the elves making presents for all the good girls and boys presents ready to be delivered Christmas Eve. Hopefully, the majority of shops will have reopen soon and traders will be decked out in festive tradition.

“We encourage the local community to support the Centre’s shops whilst remembering to observe the Government’s guidelines

Spokesperson for Yate Rotary Club, Marian Gilpin, said: “We are so pleased that we are able to bring this brilliant display to the community at this special time of year.”