Kings Church in Salford is hosting its second Santa’s Grotto Drive-Thru on the 4th December after their smashing success last year during Covid as they were able to provide a socially distanced experience from the comfort of your car.

Dan Eden, community lead for Kings Church was one of the many other volunteers and members of the church who helped set up this event, speaking about why the event was originally set up last year:

“All those [santas grottos] had been cancelled, people didn’t want to take the risk in organising events that obviously last-minute Boris said we’re gonna have to shut this down because obviously people could be spending money and it could just go down the drain.

“So we decided to it, because our church is in the heart of Pendlebury, Swinton and there’s loads of children, families, schools around there and that sort of thing, so we thought let’s do something for the community as a bit of an outreach and just to bring a bit of Christmas spirit.”

Candy Cane Costume
Image Credit: Dan Eden

They decided to continue with a drive-thru this year, instead of a physical Santas grotto, as the restrictions for Christmas was unclear this year. This was a low-risk option for the church and found that they were able to cater to a lot more people, rather than bringing a thousand people into the building, it was a better and safer option. However, it wasn’t always their original plan to do a big event this year.

“We thought we could do something low-key inside/outside, but because we had a lot of emails and messages from people saying ‘please say you’re gonna do this for us again this year that sort of thing, so we thought we can’t not do it.”

The drive-thru event features a lot of different Christmas characters along the pathway, each of them giving out Christmas treats connected to their costumes, as well as reindeer treats to feed some of the reindeer. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing with the weather conditions from Storm Arwen but nevertheless, they still carried on with the event, even though they were freezing.

The Grinch Costume
Image Credit: Dan Eden

The community also really enjoyed the event both this year and last year, both for very different reasons. Last year, Dan described the event as being ‘really special and emotional’ due to the cancellation of all the other Christmas events last year. With this year, they had some excitement that made the day a lot more fun and interesting; the weather conditions.

With the help from a lot of donations, they were glad that they could make this event bigger and better this year. Depending on Covid restrictions next Christmas, they plan on turning this event into a walking experience, so that people from the local community are able to enjoy the experience for a longer time.

“We hope we can improve upon it, where people aren’t having to rush through with their cars, in and out, they can stop around for a bit more and we can maybe put some food on or something and maybe invite them into the Church building as well at the end of it for some hot chocolates and that sort of thing. But we might have to be a bit more cautious of the weather this time and be a bit more adaptable.”

One thing is for sure Kings Church Salford will definitely be bringing another fun-filled Christmas event to the community next year.

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