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Ice to meet you; Bjorn the Polar Bear dropping by Golden Sands holiday park to celebrate a site fee freeze.

AN Arctic visitor is set to melt the hearts of young and old alike as he makes his debut at award-winning holiday park, Golden Sands in Cresswell.

Bjorn the Polar Bear will be travelling 1,500 miles from his home in Greenland to be guest of honour at Golden Sands Holiday Park on May 28.

Just 30 minutes north of Newcastle, visitors will have the chance to come nose to snout with one of the world's deadliest, but fluffiest, predators when he surfs into Cresswell on a passing ice floe with his Inuit herder companion, Ursula.

The pair who became friends when Bjorn was abandoned as a cub, will be setting up their igloo for the day alongside residents' holiday pitches at this special Visit England five-star rated coastal park.

Brave onlookers will be able to pat, stroke, hug and scratch Bjorn behind the ears, and find out more about the plight of this endangered species and the vulnerable Arctic environment he hails from.

Bjorn will be lining up alongside three times winner of the UK's Strongest Man Competition, The Mighty Smith, at the free event, which will include other fun activities such as balloon modelling, face painting, inflatables, children's rides, and a barbecue.

Golden Sands Holiday Park owner Nigel Thompson, said: "We are very excited to be welcoming Bjorn and Ursula to Golden Sands. A polar bear in Northumberland will be a rare sighting, and we hope visitors will give Bjorn a big welcome and make him feel right at home.

"Hopefully, he won't be bringing Arctic temperatures with him and there won't be any need to wrap up warm for what promises to be a hot day of entertainment and special deals."

At least two things will be frozen on the day: the ice creams and site fees for five years on selected holiday homes purchased over the Whit weekend at Golden Sands.

Prices start from PS5,000 fully sited with no extras at the private park, which overlooks stunning Cresswell Beach, close to Druridge Bay with its seven-mile stretch of sands.

Nigel added: "We are celebrating Bjorn's visit in style by freezing site fees until 2021 on selected holiday homes bought on the day.

"We are honoured that he has chosen Golden Sands for what will be a short tropical break before heading back North to the sub-zero temperatures he is more used to in his homeland."

Eagle-eyed visitors will spot that there's more to Bjorn than meets the eye, though. For the 95 stone polar bear who stands an impressive nine feet tall on his back legs and carries his belongings in a suitcase on his back, is actually a stunningly life-like animatronic puppet that can walk, growl, wrinkle his nose, blink his eyes and toss his head.

Created by puppeteers Los Kaos, he and his conservationist companion, are the centrepiece of an interactive performance which is a cross between a petting zoo and a nature documentary.

Nigel said: "Bjorn offers people, especially children, the chance to get up close to one of the world's most identifiable and best-loved animals in a way that wouldn't usually be open to them.

"He is unique and so realistic it is difficult to tell Bjorn apart from the real thing. We are delighted to be able to offer children and our other visitors the chance to interact and learn more about polar bears, and to help raise awareness about these beautiful creatures, which future generations may never get to enjoy if they are allowed to die out."

The Mighty Smith boasts equally impressive strength. His alter ego Adrian Smith who came fifth in the World's Strongest Man contest, will be showing off some serious feats of strength of his own including tearing up catalogues, bending six inch nails with his teeth, pulling a vehicle, and presenting a children's tug of war. | Free to attend, the Golden Sands Holiday Park Whit Sunday Open Day on May 28 will run from 12pm onwards at Beach Road, Cresswell, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 5LF. Tel: 01670 860256, www.northumbrianleisure.co.uk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:May 27, 2017
Words:683
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