Light switch-on to illuminate Christmas festival

Fireworks going off at All Saints Church in Stamford during the Christmas lights switch on
Fireworks going off at All Saints Church in Stamford during the Christmas lights switch on
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This year’s Stamford Christmas Festival will have an illuminating finale after organisers combined it with the lights switch-on.

Stamford Town Council took over the running of this year’s event, which will take place from 10am until 4.30pm on Sunday, December 1.

The council formed an events committee to co-ordinate the festival and councillors have been working hard to create a memorable day for the town.

Committee chairman Sue Sandall (Independent) said: “We are trying to create a festive atmosphere and provide something for everyone.”

The day will begin with Father Christmas making his way to the grotto in St Michael’s Churchyard. People will then be able to browse the 80 stalls along High Street and Ironmonger Street.

There will be fewer stalls than in previous years as the council tries to put its own stamp on the event. Coun Sandall said: “We are concentrating on stall holders selling Christmas gifts, food and other festive items. We want a good range on offer.

“We have asked traders to decorate their stalls.”

There will also be plenty of activities taking place in Red Lion Square. Rutland Radio will have a stage hosting a wide range of performers from the area, including a Punch and Judy show and morris dancers.

Youngsters will have plenty to keep themselves occupied, with a face painting stall, Shetland ponies to meet and a small funfair in Sheep Market.

And the day will be rounded off in style with the Christmas lights switch-on. Santa will leave his grotto at about 3pm and will ride with mayor of Stamford Brian Sumner and his guest in a sleigh to Red Lion Square.

The sleigh, as always, will be provided by the Stamford and District Kiwanis.

Santa and the mayor will be joined by primary school pupils, who will sing carols for the crowds.

And at 4pm the Christmas tree lights will be turned on. This year’s tree comes from the Burghley Estate and will be cut down and brought to Stamford by RAF Wittering personnel.

The events committee members hope to see plenty of people get into the Christmas spirit.

Coun Sandall said: “We want to attract people into the town and we want the existing shops to have a good day as well.”

She added: “We haven’t got a lot of money to do as much as the Georgian Festival but we wanted to give something to the town that people will enjoy.”