Towns prepare to switch on their Christmas lights

Christmas is coming to a town near you!
Christmas is coming to a town near you!

Festive events are planned as communities and businesses get ready to welcome the visitors and shoppers for the busiest trading time of the year

It’s nearly time for the magic of Christmas to light up the streets of Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and The Deepings.

Next week will be full of Christmas joy with the annual Christmas fair’s taking place in Stamford, Bourne and Market Deeping, along with Uppingham’s Christmas event on December 4 and the Oakham Christmas lights switch on this Sunday.

l The traditional Stamford Christmas Festival will be returning to Stamford on Sunday next week (November 30), running from 10am-6pm.

The event will be held in the centre of Stamford on High Street, Broad Street, Red Lion Square and Ironmonger Street.

There will be a number of exclusive and independent traders selling unusual gifts and food and drink delights on the day, along with a number of traditional craft stalls.

To get you into the festive spirit there will be plenty of entertainment on show including, festive Punch and Judy shows, school choirs, Santa’s grotto, children’s fun fair and the famous Christmas lights switch on which will take place at 4.30pm.

A road closure will be in place on Sunday from 5.30am to 8pm. There will be no parking in Broad Street on the day.

If you would like to get involved in the event, by trading, volunteering or sponsoring, you can contact Stamford Town Council at townhall@stamfordtowncouncil.co.uk.

l Bourne’s Christmas extravaganza will be taking place on Saturday next week (November 29), running from 10am to 7pm.

This year’s magical event will feature for the first time a European food and craft fair with traders from France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Holland and many more countries.

Alongside the market there will be live entertainment - including carol singing, live music, magicians and street performances.

There will also be a street market featuring a range of gift stalls, a fun fair, nativity scene, Christmas tree festival and a Santa’s grotto.

The town’s Christmas lights will this year be switched on by Paralympic skiing star Jade Etherington, along with the Bourne mayor and Santa Claus, at 4.30pm.

There will also be a chance to win £150 cash, in a competition taking place around the town in the local shops.

Gordon Cochran, from Gordon’s Photographic, Bourne, is organising this year’s festivities and wants the people of Bourne to come and get involved.

l In Market Deeping the popular Christmas Market returns on Sunday next week (November 30) held in the historic Market Place.

The market will feature a number of traders selling a wide range of goods from cheeses, meats, cakes and locally brewed beer to jewellery, paintings, gift ideas and much more. As well as the traditional market and craft stalls, there will be plenty of entertainment on the stage from local groups and schools.

The event will start at 10am when Santa arrives on his sleigh and the Town Crier declares the market open.

At 4.30pm the Mayor of Market Deeping, Roy Stephenson will launch the countdown and switch on the town’s festive lights along with Princess Anna from Frozen.

Running alongside the Christmas Fair will be the annual Junior Town Crier competition taking place at around lunch time.

Aspiring young criers can apply now by e-mailing mdtc.deputyclerk@btconnect.com

l Uppingham will be hosting an evening full of festive fun on December 4 in the town centre from 5.45pm to 9pm.

Uppingham Town Partnership has teamed up with local shop owners to plan an evening that showcases the independent shops, who will be hosting special offers, entertainment and Christmas delights. This year’s event will feature the centre piece of a skating rink in the Market Place along with a large programme of events taking place throughout the evening, including the turning on of the Christmas tree lights by a carol singing Dalek.

Children from Leighfield and Uppingham CE schools will be singing carols along with Rutland Choral Society around the Christmas tree.

Also on show will be stilt walkers, fire eaters, a traditional mummers play, buskers and an on-going concert of festive singing and dancing in the Methodist Church.

The Uppingham town crier will be on hand throughout the night to make sure you don’t miss a thing, including a surprise seasonal commemoration of the fallen of WW1.

And don’t forget to look out for Father Christmas. For more information contact Susie Burrows on 01572 822618.

l Sunday will see Oakham’s Christmas lights switched on.

Town mayor, Jayne Woodcock will throw the switch on this year’s illuminations outside Furley’s in High Street at 7pm on Sunday.

Rutland Concert Band will play from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and mulled wine and mince pies will be available from the Whipper Inn Hotel.

Coun Woodcock said: “The Christmas lights are a traditional part of the Oakham Christmas celebrations.

“This is the first time I can recall a formal switching on and I feel it will provide the start to the celebrations which I hope will prove to be a wonderful family Christmas for all residents in the town.

“I’m sure that the people of Oakham will give their usual support, as they do for all town events, and turn out in large numbers.”

The High Street will be closed from 6.30pm to 7.30pm from the junction with Mill Street to Church Street.

Oakham Late Night Shopping is on Monday, December 8.