Families meet Comet and Blitzen at rink

Children meet the reindeer visiting Norwich Ice Rink.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Children meet the reindeer visiting Norwich Ice Rink.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

In less than a week they will be helping Father Christmas deliver presents to children around the world.

But yesterday, reindeers Comet and Blitzen took time out of their busy schedule to meet families in Norwich.

The pair were brought along to the EDP and Norwich Evening News ice rink on Monday to get people into the festive spirit.

Over the past two days, children and adults have had the chance to feed and pet the animals inside a special enclosure.

Amber Risby, co-owner of Reedham Reindeer Hire, said: 'The children just love it, they have been asking, 'Are they Santa's reindeer?' And I tell them where they will be going in the sleigh. They are able to give the animals a bit of food and a whisper in the ear so they know where to go and drop off their presents.'

The two reindeer, which are both six years old, have since left the enclosure for events elsewhere in the county.

Debbie Austin, ice rink event manager, said numerous families had visited the site over the past two days to take a look at the animals.

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It is the first year the EDP and Norwich Evening News have opened an ice rink in the city.

The rink is open from 10am to 9pm to anyone over four years old, and runs until Saturday, January 2 in the castle gardens.

Sponsored by Norwich International Airport, the site will also host other special guests throughout next week.

Families will have the chance to meet Santa and his Elves on Christmas Eve, and children's film characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf on December 23.

There will also be face-painting sessions throughout the next week.

Have you launched a community Christmas project? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.