Christmas in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, will begin on 2nd December with a visit from local celebrity vet Julian Norton, who will switch on the festive lights.
The Christmas light switch on will be at 5pm, before the public opening of the popular annual Christmas Tree Festival, which this year follows the theme of ‘Stars’. The Christmas Tree Festival will run until 17th December and is open daily from 10am to 4pm.
As one of the initial supporters of Small Business Saturday in the UK, which also takes place on 2nd December, Helmsley in Business which has organised the event will be continuing the tradition of promoting its many independent businesses, with lots going on throughout the town to keep visitors entertained on the day, including late night
From 4pm, the Town Crier will be welcoming visitors with his record-breaking cries, and the Swinton Brass Band will get everyone in the mood for the Christmas season with some festive songs. There will be the mulled wine and mince pies and the chance to win goodies on the Jam Jar Raffle and tombola stalls.
Helmsley Christmas Tree Festival
- Helmsley in Business
In line with the Christmas trees, a Star Trail throughout the town will keep youngsters entertained and be an opportunity to explore some of the towns independent businesses, many of whom will be running individual competitions, tastings and activities to mark the day.
The ‘star’ of the season – Santa – will be opening his grotto in the Town Hall at 5pm.
At 6pm, the Town Crier will lead the way to Helmsley’s All Saint’s Church for the official opening of the Christmas Tree Festival, accompanied by the Swinton Brass Band and carols.
The Helmsley Arts Centre will also be running the first two performances of its popular annual pantomime – this year Dick Whittington and His Cat – at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Visitors will be able to park all day at Cleveland Way car park for just £1.50, thanks to Ryedale District Council. Free coach parking will also be available.
Jacky Pickering, chair of Helmsley in Business and who runs The Stick Man with husband Keith, said: “We’re delighted to be carrying on the town’s traditions of celebrating Small Business Saturday with fun and activities in town. Linking it in with the light switch on, which we’re very excited will be performed by the fantastic Julian Norton, and the opening of the Christmas Tree Festival means you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere more festive on 2nd December this year."
For more information about what’s going on in Helmsley go to the website www.visithelmsley.co.uk or follow the town on Twitter @VisitHelmsley