Retailers got a pre-Christmas boost as out-of-town residents did their shopping in Huddersfield town centre after visiting the famous Coca-Cola Christmas truck.
Hundreds of people queued in the bitter cold on Wednesday to grab a free can of pop and have their photographs taken in front of the bright red lorry which was parked outside the bus station from 11am.
The lorry contained 6,700 cans of various types of Coca-Cola, with organisers saying they expected visitors to hit the 10,000 mark over the course of the day.
At the front of the queue was Abbie Bramald and two-year-old daughter Ellie-Mae who visited from Wakefield just to see the Coca-Cola truck.
Abbie said: “Last year we went to Doncaster to see it. It’s better to see it on a nighttime when it is lit up – we love it.”
She said the truck reminded her of childhood.
“I am 28 now but my dad always texts me to say he’s seen the Coca-Cola advert on TV. Being first in the queue is a once in a lifetime thing. I started queueing at 10.35am. I queued for nearly an hour when it was in Doncaster.”
Sam Pattison, from Paddock, who was in the queue with 23-week-old daughter Harper, said: “It’s exciting, magical and Christmassy. It’s something that you see on TV and here you can stand in front of it.”
Friends Corinne Brown and Paula Hall came over from Rochdale especially to see the truck.
Paula said: “I’ve always wanted to see the Coca-Cola truck and this seemed to be the nearest place for me. It feels like Christmas!”
She added: “We are going to go shopping now; we’ve been given some money by our husbands to go and get some Christmas shopping. I’ve never been to Huddersfield before. It’s nice and friendly.”
Tina and Martin Quinn, from Holmfirth, said they were enjoying the “novelty” of the truck’s visit as well as marvelling at Coca-Cola ’s marketing genius.
Lisa Marshall, 29, from Halifax, said the arrival of the truck signalled the start of Christmas for her.
“Christmas has started now,” she said.
“I remember when I was a little child it (the advert) would come on TV; it brings back so many memories from childhood.”
Cherie Docherty, from Siddal near Halifax, added: “It’s so much better in real life than it is in the advert. After we have seen the truck we are going to do some shopping in Huddersfield. We are regular shoppers here.”
Visitors to the truck in the afternoon were invited to sing Christmas carols and were given the opportunity of having their photo and a message beamed onto the side of the lorry.