RESIDENTS and visitors looking forward to attending Swansea’s annual Christmas parade on November 21 are being urged to plan ahead.

Thousands are expected to enjoy the free council event that will feature a vibrant mix of local community groups, spectacular professional entertainers, marching bands, magical floats, colourful film characters and festive inflatables.

Santa will be there too – to switch on the improved and expanded city centre Christmas lights.

The council is encouraging those planning to attend to check the arrangements, plan ahead, aim to arrive in good time for the start – and spread out along the route to help curb the spread of Covid.

Sunday’s event is due to take place from 5pm, with parking available at a number of locations including city centre car parks.

Changes for road traffic will include diversions away from roads such as Quay Parade, Oystermouth Road, Princess Way, High Street, Orchard Street and The Kingsway. Victoria Road and Quay Parade will be temporarily closed in both directions from New Cut Road to Princess Way from around 4pm until the parade has passed. Diversions will be signposted.

Free buses will be running for everyone to use, as part of the council’s #FreeRideSwansea winter free rides offer. Park & Rides will operate this Sunday at Fabian Way and Landore from 11am to around 8.30pm, with both dropping customers to Swansea Railway Station. Cost per vehicle – for up to four people – is £1.

During the event there will be loud noises, flashing lights and special effects. Those who need somewhere quieter are advised to watch it at the St Helen’s Road end of The Kingsway or at the top of High Street and Orchard Street. An accessible viewing area will be available on Princess Way and Orchard Street.

The parade will start at Princess Way, making its way to Castle Square where Santa will – from his sleigh – switch on some of the city centre’s Christmas lights. The parade will continue up High Street, down Orchard Street and onto the Kingsway, where Santa will switch on the rest of the Christmas lights, before the parade ends at the western end of The Kingsway.

More information can be found at www.swanseachristmas.com