SANTA Claus came to town last night, but anyone wandering past Empire Park on Sunday could be forgiven for thinking Christmas had come early.
Dozens of Santa’s young helpers traded their sleighs for skateboards for the Bar Beach Bowl Riders Christmas party.
The beach was the place to be with temperatures nudging 30 degrees in some parts of the Hunter.
But swimsuits were probably far more practical than the heavy red Santa suits.
The skate park at Empire Park, which has now been open for almost two years, was a controversial addition to the beachfront partly because of concerns it would attract antisocial behaviour.
The Christmas event was very much a social affair.