Northern Ireland news

Popular CastleCourt Santa goes virtual this year

Santa has gone virtual at CastleCourt Shopping Centre this year. Picture by Hugh Russell
Marie Louise McConville

SANTA at one of Belfast's most visited grottos has gone virtual.

With Covid restrictions, Father Christmas has been unable to be present at CastleCourt this year.

However he appears on screen at the grotto and children can watch and listen while Santa assures them he "tried to keep Christmas just as magical as ever".

Catherine Ashman, Marketing Manager for CastleCourt, said everyone had been left "devastated" that the much-loved Santa could not be present in person this year.

They decided to make the video to reassure children that even though he wouldn't there, they would still be getting their presents.

Santa has gone virtual at CastleCourt Shopping Centre this year. Picture by Hugh Russell

"He was telling me he is gutted and he looks forward to it every year. He is shielding and we have to protect him and we have to protect the public".

Being in his seventies she added that it "just wasn't an option" to have Santa at the grotto this year but said they were "delighted we could still get that video from him."

"Kids can still stand and watch it and we have the message written underneath the video as well.

"Safety is our number one priority at the minute."

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