Canine companions in Wellingborough have been given the chance to strut their stuff in this year’s Christmas parade, the first time dogs have featured in the town’s festive showpiece.
The event, part of the Christmas Lights Switch-on, will be led by the Wizard of Oz cast who will be performing at Castle Theatre throughout the festive period.
In the children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L.Frank Baum the lead character Dorothy ends up in Oz with her dog Toto after a cyclone sweeps up her farmhouse in Kansas. Organisers have appealed for dog owners to come along with their four-legged friends and accompany Wellingborough’s very own Dorothy.
The 10-minute parade will start at 3.45pm at Gloucester Place, on the corner of Market Street and Church Street, on Saturday, November 25.
John Cable, manager of the Wellingborough Business Improvement District (BID), which organises the event, said: “Christmas in Wellingborough is a big deal and we firmly believe it’s a great way to bring local business owners, families, communities and dog owners together. If you have a dog, we think you’d be barking mad not to bring them along.
“Father Christmas himself is lined up to take part in the parade with his sleigh and reindeer. We’re looking forward to watching our glorious town centre come to life, reminding everyone what a great place Wellingborough is to live and work. We’re proud of Wellingborough and in the words of Dorothy herself, ‘there’s no place like home’.”
The parade is part of an action-packed programme of events organised to mark the start of Christmas in the town centre. From 1pm there will be street entertainers, a Victorian Market, mulled wine and an interactive snow globe.
DJs Liz and Mark from Connect FM, will begin the on-stage countdown at 4pm and will be followed by local performers and tribute acts to Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.
Free tickets to The Wizard of Oz will be up for grabs as well as two tickets for any Northampton Saints home game (T&Cs apply) donated by local charity Niamh’s Next Step. The winner of this year’s Pride of Wellingborough award will be announced – the crowning the most popular shop in the town centre as voted for by members of the public.
A fireworks display will fill the sky at 6:15pm when the lights are officially switched-on.
There are limited spaces on the day so those who wish to bring their dog along must email the BID office by Wednesday, November 15, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All dogs must be on a short lead and well-behaved. All children under 16 to be accompanied by an adult.