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19th Nov 2018

Swansea Christmas parade dubbed the ‘worst ever’, and only has three floats

Wil Jones

For some people, Christmas doesn’t officially start until they see the Coca-Cola advert with the trucks

For others, it is watching Elf. Or maybe, it is hearing Mariah Carrey on the radio.

But for me, the true beginning of the festive season only comes with the first news story about people being ripped-off by a crooked winter wonderland attraction.

It has become as much a Christmas tradition as the Queen’s Speech or the boxing day football fixtures. Every year, without fail, some chancer sets up lacklustre Lapland in a muddy field next to dual carriageway, and tries to scam unwitting parents for £15 a head (plus an extra fiver for parking).

Come later November and early December, you are guaranteed a news piece filled with disgruntled mums telling of how little Noah and Amelia were in tears at the shonky, unfinished Santa’s Grotto. How they were greeted on arrival by a rinky-dink ice rink, busted fairy lights, and donkeys with cardboard antlers taped to them posing as reindeer. How instead of elves’ workshops and snow-covered log cabins, they were faced by tarpaulin and surly teenage staff.

“It was like a car boot sale,” they’ll cry.

There is something wonderfully British about it all. From the Del Boy-ish, can-do spirit of the wheeler dealers trying to make a fast buck, to the sense of inevitability of the faces of the parents. We Brits don’t want to be happy at Christmas. We want to have something to moan about. We want the turkey to be overdone, we want to have a row with the in-laws, and we want to freeze our arses off in a soggy gravel parking lot outside Kent with some shopping trolleys draped in tinsel posing as Santa’s sleigh. If it snowed on the 25th and everyone came together, we wouldn’t know what to do.

Well, guys, I’ve got some good news. It might only be the middle of November, but we can officially crack open the mulled wine and mince pies: the Swansea Christmas parade has been dubbed “the worst ever”.

Ok, it’s a parade, not a winter wonderland, but apart from that it is a textbook example of the form. Sunday afternoon’s parade – which only consisted of three floats – was branded a crushing disappointment by attendees.

“It was absolutely disgusting,” one Swansea mum told Wales Online. “There were only three lorries, one with Santa on, one with panels and another with ice – they had nothing to do with Christmas”.

“There were more trollies for the overpriced flashing toys than there were floats in the parade,” said another attendee. “Awful parade, worst I have ever been to!”

“Shambles, stood in the freezing cold for three floats to pass by,” added a third. “Won’t be going again.”

Obviously, it sucks that these families had a rubbish Sunday in Swansea, and the kids were disappointed. But I am also a bad person, this means I can now officially start thinking about Christmas.