SANTA was hoping for a warm welcome to Wagga's Marketplace last night ? and he certainly got that.Hot and blustery conditions tested the mettle of the large crowd of excited children ? and adults ? who gathered to cheer Santa and his reindeer as they made the annual pilgrimage down Baylis Street to the Marketplace, a tradition which has become the unofficial start to Christmas celebrations in the city.Hundreds of children, their parents and interested onlookers endured the testing conditions to witness the arrival ? and weren't disappointed.The smiles on the faces of the children said it all as the procession made its way down the main street and through the Marketplace, the two reindeer proving a real hit with the old and young alike.While Santa's arrival was the highlight of the night, shoppers had already enjoyed plenty of entertainment with giveaways, face-painting, roving entertainment and the popular bouncing kangaroos.