Southport BID feature by Stand Up For Southport
The giant illuminated Bear and Reindeer figures in Southport town centre have headed back into hibernation in Lapland after enthralling thousands of families over the Christmas season!
The magical illuminations were provided by Southport BID as a new addition this year, as a further way of encouraging people to visit Southport throughout November, December and early January.
The sparkling Bear stands at over 18 ft tall while the Reindeer stands at over 13 ft tall, making them perfect for taking pictures with family members. Look out for them returning next year!
Many visitors enjoyed their first experience of the Bear and Reindeer at the busy Southport BID Festive Fun Day which officially launched the Christmas shopping season in Southport on 18th November.
The event saw a series of superb live singing, theatrical and dance performances on the Lord Street Bandstand, which coincided with other festive events staged elsewhere in Southport town centre at locations including The Atkinson, Wayfarers Arcade, The Vincent Hotel, Cambridge Walks, The Entertainer, Great Reads bookshop and others.
The new character installations flanked the dazzling 60 ft LED Christmas tree in Southport’s Town Hall Gardens. The tree sparkles with a series of mesmerising colour-changing displays thanks to 25,000 LED pixels.
Southport BID provides the 300,000 lights which create the ‘boulevard of light’ along Lord Street all year long.
The BID also provides more than 200,000 festive lights, the signature Christmas tree, the festive lamppost motifs, overhead ‘Welcome to Southport’ signs, roundabout decorations and more trees across the town centre.
An estimated 15,000 visitors came each week to enjoy the magic of the Bear, the Reindeer and the Christmas Tree each over Christmas, giving a huge boost to local shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and guest houses.
Thousands of pictures were taken by delighted families and were posted across social media to further raise awareness of what Southport has to offer.
Lots of images were submitted to Southport BID via their Bear and Reindeer selfie competition.
Many people enjoyed taking part in the Southport BID Bear and Reindeer Christmas Trail.
Artworks featuring the characters were being displayed in the windows of businesses across the town centre.
Participants used clues in each picture they found to answer the questions listed on the trail maps before submitting their answers for the chance to win a Nintendo Switch with games from GAME Southport.
Hundreds of entries were delivered, with a winner due to be announced soon.
Southport BID ran a Bear and Reindeer story writing competition, working with local schools to invite entries.
The moving winning story by Constance Heywood, a nine year-old from Southport, was judged to be the overall winner of ‘The Bear and The Reindeer Story Competition’.
The brief invited young people aged 10 and under to create a Christmas story based on the two characters.
Constance’s story was featured in the Town Hall Gardens for visitors to read.
There was an incredible response to the competition, with stories submitted from children in Southport and across the Liverpool City Region.
Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said: “We have been delighted with the response of The Bear and The Reindeer!
“It has been fantastic to see so many people engaging with the characters and the feedback from businesses has been very positive.
“The new installations have given us the opportunity to build on Southport’s reputation for spectacular Christmas illuminations, and the widespread coverage of the characters has put the spotlight on our town over the festive period.
“None of this would be possible without Southport BID businesses, whose investment allows for 200,000 extra festive lights to make Southport sparkle each year.”
- Discover more about how Southport BID is supporting local businesses in Southport town centre at southportbid.com