The Coca Cola truck arrives in Cardiff

Nothing signals the arrival of Christmas more than a bright red Coca Cola truck[1] parked up in town and divvying up free mini versions of Coke Zero. The iconic lorry arrived in Cardiff[2] on Friday as part of its annual Christmas truck tour[3] and set out its stall on The Hayes. But at midday, there were few signs of the hype and excitement that usually accompanies the festive attraction[4] as the initial flurry of activity quickly dwindled away.

The short queue of people waiting for the 12pm opening filtered through the bag check, collected their free 150ml can of Coke and snapped a selfie under a festive archway, before heading back to the warmth of their offices. By 5pm, it was a different story however and it was beginning to look a lot more like Christmas

Paris Beesley, aged 8, left, and Rio Gibson, aged 7, right, have their picture taken by the truck The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffThe lights looked a lot more festive in the dark on Friday evening The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffStuart Smith and five-year-old Sienna Smith take a closer look at Santa

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People had wrapped up against the bitter wind and joined the long winding queue that snaked around the truck near St David’s shopping centre. Children clamoured to jump up onto the street furniture to get their photo taken in front of a giant smiling red-cheeked Santa, who looked down from the side of the lorry.

Families with pushchairs and excitable youngsters patiently waited their turn for their festive photo moment in the 20-minute-long queue. For many families, the occasion heralded the start of the festive season and the visit to the truck was an annual pilgrimage. After grabbing a selfie in front of the truck, clutching their free mini can, most were off to continue the celebrations at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland.

The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffIt was chilly on The Hayes but that didn’t stop the crowds coming out to officially start their Christmas season The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffGetting a selfie in front of the famous truck The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffMadison Davies, 14, (left), and Libby Davies, 11, (right), pose for a picture in front of the truck

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Some had already browsed the stalls at the city centre Christmas market, which opened its doors on Thursday.

Most of the excitable kids had already decided what they were putting on their Christmas wishlists. Seven-year-old Jacob, who was visiting with his parents Natalie and William, was more interested in the model railway he wanted from Santa come December 25. But for Natalie, it was all about the fact that the “holidays have started”.

“When you see the truck, doesn’t it just make you feel all Christmassy?” she said. Jon Ward, who was carrying 10-month-old daughter Primrose while waiting in the queue, said: “Everyone sees the truck and it’s the start of Christmas.” Like many there on Friday, their next stop was to check out the Winter Wonderland, which opened its doors on Thursday too.

The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffSix-month-old Elsie enjoys the occasion with her family The Coca Cola truck arrives in CardiffThe truck will pack up and move on to Bristol after Saturday

It’s the ninth year that the Coca-Cola truck has spread magic around the country and this year the drinks company has paired with homelessness charity Crisis. Coca-Cola will donate 10p for each can recycled by visitors at the truck tour, with funds going to Crisis to help people out of homelessness.

The truck will be in Cardiff again on Saturday, November 16, before packing up and heading to Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, on November 22 and 23.

References

  1. ^ Coca Cola truck (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Cardiff (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ annual Christmas truck tour (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ usually accompanies the festive attraction (www.walesonline.co.uk)

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