THE 6ft tall iconic Nutcrackers will make a welcome return to Southport in the run-up to Christmas - with shoppers urged to support local businesses over the festive season.
The 6ft tall decorative figures, which resemble giant toy soldiers, will be placed at strategic points throughout the town centre in November to recreate the popular Nutcracker Trail. There will be more to find this year too with 12 figures instead of last season’s 10.
There will be a competition held soon to name them, plus those completing the trail can enter a draw to take home an iPad Mini.
The Nutcrackers, based on the traditional German symbols of good luck, brought real magic to Christmas shopping in Southport town centre last year, with families from across the North West enjoying finding all the figures in between trips to local shops and restaurants.
Southport is also set to sparkle this year with the return of the dazzling 60-ft Christmas tree installation. The stunning tree’s beautiful LED light shows have drawn families into town for the last two years, proving a hugely popular attraction for all generations.
Southport BID, thanks to funding from local businesses, will continue to install Christmas lights across the town centre this year with the aim of making Southport sparkle throughout the season.
Work has already begun along Eastbank and more are set to appear along Southport town centre streets including Lord Street, Nevill Street, Chapel Street and London Street
Southport BID is keen to help create a welcoming atmosphere this Christmas to help encourage shoppers to stay local this season and support our independent businesses.
The BID has also launched its successful Southport Gift Card, which is already accepted at over 70 venues in Southport.
The new Gift Card aims to encourage people to support their local shops, restaurants, cafes, beauty salons, hotels and attractions during the festive season, by keeping the seasonal spend local and bringing people back into the high street to spend them.
Southport BID chief executive Rachel Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Nutcrackers back to Southport this year for people to enjoy.
“They were a huge success last year with families loving exploring town to complete the trail and find them all. It was great fun. It will also provide a safe experience for families to get out and about without crowds, especially should restrictions get tighter.
“The Christmas lights in the trees bring real sparkle to Southport throughout the festive season.
“They are made possible thanks to funding which ultimately is paid for by the local businesses in the Southport town centre area, the BID levy payers.
“They provide the lights for the whole of Southport to enjoy.
“Our dazzling, 60ft-high LED display Christmas tree in the Town Hall Gardens was a popular sight last year. The multi-coloured lights displays were a huge talking point with a huge number of posts about Southport generated through social media, and a positive response from thousands of people in the region.
“Business owners are working hard to ensure their shops are safe and we want to make sure people feel positive and comfortable to shop local this Christmas. We want to create a package of measures that will support our high street and encourage everyone to engage with the town centre throughout the festive season.
“We may not be having a switch on, but with the Nutcracker Trail, the Christmas lights and the dazzling Christmas tree, we have lots in place to make Southport feel festive.”
For more details about the Southport BID, please visit their website at: southportbid.com or Like the Southport BID page on Facebook, Follow them @SouthportBID on Twitter and at @southportbid on Instagram. To buy the gift card, go to www.southportgiftcard.co.uk