Christmas at Northampton BID

Between the 19th of November 2021 and 3rd of January 2022, Big Foot Events had the pleasure of creating a magical Santa’s Grotto installation for Northampton Business Improvement District’s 2021 Christmas Promotions.

The Brief

The client wanted to create a visually impressive Christmas Installation to be set up inside the Grosvenor Shopping Centre for the festive period. Northampton BID sought to draw in new and existing shoppers over the seasonal period and provide festive entertainment for families taking a pause from their Christmas shopping.

We made a list of ideas, checked it twice, and decided that our Santa’s Grotto was the perfect choice; it had a fantastic visual impact and was an exciting entertainment option offering shoppers the opportunity to meet and greet Santa Claus.

The Challenges

Our Santa’s Grotto Installation was placed within an empty shopping unit fitted with a fire safety sprinkler system. This system needed to be accessible in case of the event of a fire, so the Grotto structure would need to be adjusted to comply with the shopping centre’s health and safety regulations.

The client was also conscious of shopper safety regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and required the Grotto and its garden to be designed to allow for, and encourage, social distancing.

The Solutions

The Santa’s Grotto was structured in the style of a wooden chalet with a full chalet roof. To allow for the functionality of the sprinkler system, while maintaining the authenticity of the Grotto aesthetic, we removed the wooden roof and replaced it with wooden beams and snow flocking sheets. This permeable new roof complied with Grosvenor Shopping Centre’s health and safety regulations and retained a festive, wintry visual.

We organised the Grotto’s garden to accommodate a queueing system with a separate entrance and exit into and out of Santa’s Grotto. This one-way system encouraged social distancing, and we decorated the garden with themed props and snow flocking to keep shoppers in the queue entertained.

The Results

The result was a stunning Santa’s Grotto, decorated internally and externally to create a wonderful, festive Christmas setting for children and families to meet Santa Claus.

No Christmas is complete without a visit to Father Christmas! The installation was a great success, with hundreds of families visiting Santa’s Grotto to meet and have their photo taken with Santa Claus.