Santa arrives in Wolverhampton as grotto is opened

By Thomas Parkes | Wolverhampton | Attractions | Published:

Ho ho ho! Santa Claus has finally arrived in Wolverhampton as part of the festive season.

Dicky Dodd, Heidi Wall-Holden, Santa and Cherry Shine open up the grotto.

Father Christmas, who will be residing in his grotto in the Mander Centre, will be ready to give out Christmas cheer.

Crowds of people had gathered to see the iconic figure – and take home a gift – as the shopping centre's grotto was officially opened.

It is organised by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID), known as Enjoy Wolverhampton, to draw families into the city centre.

Shaun Boyce, from Enjoy Wolverhampton, said: "It's about providing a good experience to people and Christmas is all about families and children.

"We've done a grotto and it's the fifth year now, the fourth year in the Mander Centre and we thought it would be nice and warm for people queuing.

Dicky Dodd, Heidi Wall-Holden, Santa and Cherry Shine open up the grotto.

"We provide the Santa and it's been the same Santa for the past five years, the same elves and I will be working as an elf as well.

"It's a good thing to do for the children and the families and year on year I personally have seen the same faces – it means a lot to them.


"And it gives you a really good feeling that the people of Wolverhampton have come and they support us."

Mr Boyce said the Mander Centre had supported them "very well" by helping them to run the grotto, which was unveiled by Signal 107's Dicky Dodd and Enjoy Wolverhampton's Heidi Wall-Holden and director Cherry Shine.

Santa's grotto, in the lower level of the shopping centre, had opened temporarily on November 23 ahead of the light switch-on in the city centre, but is now fully open.

Dicky Dodd, Heidi Wall-Holden, Santa and Cherry Shine open up the grotto


Father Christmas will be available to meet youngsters on Monday to Saturday between 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.

It will open for slightly longer on Wednesday for late night shopping – closing at 6pm.

On Sunday, it will open between 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm.

From December 16 until December 23 – the date when Santa leaves – it will open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm.

Entry to the grotto is £5 per child, including a gift.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at

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