Quickstepping mascots from charities, businesses and football teams are preparing to strut their stuff and raise cash for good causes.

A dance-off at tonight's Winter Wonderland celebration in Wimbledon town centre will see them throw shapes to bring in donations.

Construction business Paul Strank Roofing will host the event at their stall, which is raising cash for Children in Need and music charity One Life.

Paul Strank spokesman Terry Morgan said the playlist for the contest would be agreed between the competitors, and was expected to feature pop and dance hits played by One Life DJs.

He said: “I hope there are no requests for heavy metal or hard trance.”

The competition was inspired by an impromptu dance-off at last year’s Winter Wonderland between Children in Need’s own Pudsey Bear and Barci, the chicken from restaurant chain Nando’s.

Both are set to return for the contest this year, along with Sam the Dog from property company Samuel Estates and chilli pepper Buppy from Broadway restaurant Jimmy Spice’s.

Entries from the world of sport include AFC Wimbledon’s Haydon the Womble, Sheffield United’s Captain Blade and Howie the Hornet from Horsham FC.

Winter Wonderland includes the official Christmas lights switch-on by Anna Williamson and Sam Attwater, stars of this year’s panto at New Wimbledon Theatre.

The event – which runs from 5pm to 9pm – will also feature a parade, fireworks, and a visit by the man himself – Father Christmas.

Tonight's runners and riders

  • Haydon the Womble, AFC Wimbledon
    Claim to fame: Spent four hours at the top of a column in Trafalgar Square for Anthony Gormley’s art project One and Other
  • Pudsey Bear, Children in Need
    Claim to fame: Helping to raise millions of pounds for charity during more than 15 years of public appearances
  • Howie the Hornet, Horsham FC
    Claim to fame: Won gold at the mascot Olympics in Milton Keynes earlier this year.

Got a story for us? Call 020 8722 6333, tweet @WimbledonNews or email: newsdesk@wimbledonguardian.co.uk.