Santa’s Grotto at the late night shopping Christmas Festival attracted over 1,000 visitors and raised £400 for charity in just four hours, as organisations across the town came together.
The Grotto had a new location this year at the Regal Picturehouse, partnering with tipi events (Paula Price-Davies and Tom Ryan) who also ran the Grotto at the Kenton Theatre in the two previous years.
The support of Invesco ensured that the there was no charge to see Santa and each child received a goody bag, including a specially made Lawlors The Bakers snowflake shortbread. The Grotto was decorated with the help of Farrow & Ball, Vintage Look, Asquith’s Teddy Bear Shop, Adventures In Living and Robert Dyas, while Santa was dressed by Hobbs of Henley.
A raffle held by Picturehouse charity partner Refuge included prizes from the Bell Bookshop, Brakspear, Gorvett & Stone, Hart Street Tavern, Henley Festival and others, raising £400.
The queue was entertained by singing from Henley Children’s Theatre, face-painting by the River & Rowing Museum and Mr Hobbs Gin gave free samples to the grown-ups.
Co-organiser Tom Ryan told the Henley Herald: “It was a really lovely, very busy evening seeing so many of Henley’s children – and excited grown-ups! – meeting Santa and his dog Daisy. Special thanks go to Melissa and her team at the Regal, Simone at Farrow & Ball and Paula for creating a winter wonderland in Screen 3!”