Santa livestreamed as 1,500 watch him turn on Llandaff North lights

Families tune in to watch Saturday’s Big Virtual Switch-On as Christmas festivities get underway

LLANDAFF North received a visit from Santa on Saturday, following a virtual Christmas lights switch-on that was watched by 1,500 people.

The livestreamed event was put together by Llandaff North Festival committee as a Covid-safe alternative to the area’s usual festive celebration.

Viewers were treated to musical performances from Voice star Peter Donegan, US gospel singer Latice Crawford and the Cardiff University Vox choir, as well as local musicians Glyn and Tim.

Kermit the Frog made a guest appearance at Llandaff North’s Big Virtual Switch-On

There were also festive video messages from councillor Dilwar Ali, local police officers and PCSOs, and the YGC Rebel Mams volunteer group, as well as special guests Kermit the Frog and the Cookie Monster.

Organiser Lewys Wootton then helped Santa do a sleigh ride tour of Llandaff North and Gabalfa, assisted by Llandaff North Christian Centre.

“This is the first year we’ve had the sleigh ride,” said Lewys.

“We were very mindful of keeping people safe, so we decided to visit as many streets as possible to minimise the risk of gatherings, and were delighted with over 1,500 people waving from their doorsteps, and another 1,500 watching our virtual switch-on.”

Photo courtesy of Darren Griffiths

Residents were able to take part by switching on their own Christmas lights when the countdown reached zero.

In a Facebook post, the committee said: “Sometimes when we go ahead with these projects we’re not sure how they’re going to turn out, so to get this sort of response is incredible!”

They are still seeking donations to help maintain the existing Christmas lights and pay for two new lamppost motifs, which they hope to install this week.

The YGC Rebel Mams community Christmas tree

The festivities continued on Sunday as YGC Rebel Mams took a donated Christmas tree to their community garden near the Cow & Snuffers pub.  

They’re inviting Llandaff North and Gabalfa residents to add their own decorations to the tree, with the request that all decorations be made of eco-friendly natural materials. They suggest dried orange slices, birdfeed decorations, wooden ornaments and strings of popcorn.

The group are organizing a Christmas trail on Monday and Tuesday December 21 and 22. Residents can take part by decorating their house fronts and gardens and messaging the YGC Rebel Mams Facebook page to be included on the trail map. The deadline for messages is Friday December 18.

Those feeling extra creative can also get involved in their 12 Days of Christmas activities, currently being planned. They are looking in particular for drummers, dancers and crafters.