The Christmas Spirits Safari

Steyning & District Community Partnership, in association with Horsham District Council, is bringing happiness to the High Street with a Christmas Trail.

This December families in Steyning can hunt down and bring ‘Spirits of Christmas’ to life on their smartphones in an exciting new type of virtual reality trail.

All out in the open air and contactless, the trail is hosted by 10 Steyning businesses bringing added interest to ‘Gift Hunting’ in the town post lockdown and has been organised by Steyning & District Community Partnership in association with Horsham District Council, as part of the District’s Buy Local campaign.

The trail will run from December 3rd for 6 weeks and is called The Christmas Spirits Safari. It takes the form of solving a simply mystery involving the disappearance of Father Christmas’ brother – Albert Claus! His job is to maintain the Christmas Spirit and spread joy bubbles on Christmas day, but he’s gone missing!

By visiting all the trail stops and speaking to each of the virtual cheerful Spirits of Christmas, players will learn what has happened to Albert and, finally, be able to solve the mystery, save him and read a free Christmas Spirit eBook at the end.

Families will be able to take ‘selfies’ with the characters along the way. It is free to play and creates a happy reason for families to get out of the house, walk the trails and take in the shops & other businesses on the High Street.

Families simply tap or scan posters or any trail character decals that are on view in shop windows with a smartphone – once tapped the figures become interactive.

There are 10 ‘windows’ which are carefully spread through Steyning High Street and once all 10 characters have been collected, the Christmas eBook will be unlocked.

At the beginning of the Trail and within the system, there is an opportunity to donate to a charity, The Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, but this is purely voluntary.

The virtual trail has been created by the same team that originated Horsham Rotary Club’s Halloween trail in October and following a review of both trail’s effectiveness it is hoped to develop these further across the whole of Horsham District in 2021.

Steyning & District Community Partnership Visitor & Tourism Committee were delighted to help organise the trail locations in the town with Partnership member Reina Alston saying, ‘We are excited to be bringing this ‘new technology’ trail to Steyning and to join with Horsham District Council in promoting it to our residents – and, of course, any visitors - as a cheery community project on the run up to Christmas.’

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council added, ‘Historically, Horsham Rotary has had huge success with town trails when paper based and experience with this Octobers’ Halloween VR trail was very encouraging.

We hope Steyning enjoys their ‘Spirits of Christmas’ trail just as much and we eagerly look forward to generating more of these trails in partnership with our District Communities in the new year.’
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