Richard to set sail on Belfast Lough as Santa

Naomi and Jeremy met Santa on their way to school.
Naomi and Jeremy met Santa on their way to school.

Belfast Lough has welcomed many colourful characters down the years, but on Saturday, it will provide the setting for the arrival of a festive visitor.

When onlookers peer into the distance, they will be surprised to see a familiar figure on the horizon.

Richard Burnside.

Richard Burnside.

To the surprise of the delighted children waiting at Carrick Sailing Club, the sailor will be none other than Santa.

Richard Burnside will be making the unusual journey to the annual children’s party at the club dressed in a full Santa costume.

It is just one of his Santa stints. He also takes on the festive role at Joymount Presbyterian Church and he is the guest of honour at the Movie House in Yorkgate.

Tomorrow, the well-known school crossing patrol man will be in his Santa costume for the last day of term outside Acorn Integrated Primary School.

It will be the last in a series of costumes which he has donned in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.

He likes to keep the kids and parents guessing with an array of costumes.

This week, he has already been dressed as an elf and had his “lollipop” decorated with lights and tinsel.

“I dress up when the kids have different things on in school. It started on St. Patrick’s Day when I dressed as a leprechaun. On Superheroes’ Day, I dressed up as Robin. The kids don’t know what they will see when they come around the corner. It is a bit of fun. It puts a smile on people’s faces,” said Richard.