Roll up for town’s second Christmas Tree Festival

FLASHBACK to last year's first Hucknall Christmas Tree Festival as the judges make their choices. They are (from left), MP Mark Spencer, Sheila Robinson (Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group), Jane Archer (Specsavers), Terry Moult (Hucknall Rotary Club) and the Rev Kathryn Herrod

FLASHBACK to last year's first Hucknall Christmas Tree Festival as the judges make their choices. They are (from left), MP Mark Spencer, Sheila Robinson (Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group), Jane Archer (Specsavers), Terry Moult (Hucknall Rotary Club) and the Rev Kathryn Herrod

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BAUBLES are being dusted off and fairy lights checked as the countdown gets under way to Hucknall’s second Christmas Tree Festival.

The inaugural event last year was hailed a massive success as 28 organisations decorated trees and displayed them in all their glory at Hucknall Parish Church.

The festival went ahead despite the heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures that caused the cancellation of the annual Hucknall Christmas Carnival and brought the town to its knees.

Now organisers of the Christmas tree festival are urging local firms, groups and schools to sign up to take part in this year’s renewal.

It will open on Wednesday December 7 to coincide with carnival night and the influx of thousands of festive revellers into the town centre.

Janet Archer, of Specsavers on High Street, was the driving force behind the first tree festival, which was arranged with the help of a group of volunteers.

She said: “We are delighted to be running this event again. We met so many different people last year, and it was a great way for the community to come together.

“This year, we hope the snow will stay away and give us a chance to show what we can do in Hucknall. We want to create a festival which will bring many visitors to the town at the start of the festive period.

“We will also have a special community tree that will start the festival completely empty. Visitors will be inviited to come along with their own baubles and creations to decorate it.”

Inspiration for the festival came when Mrs Archer visited a similar event in Bingham in 2009.

Last year, 58 groups signed up to the Hucknall festival but not all took part because of the weather. Opened by Hucknall’s Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, it attracted 700 visitors to the church.

A flood of positive feedback has given impetus to this year’s event, which will run from December 7 to Saturday December 10. It will include a chance for the public to nominate their favourite trees for prizes in adults’ and children’s categories.

There will also be a competition for children to nominate themselves or someone they know to open the festival. Entries must be handed in at the library or the Dispatch Office on Yorke Street by Friday November 25.

Any organisations interested in taking part in the festival are asked to ring Mrs Archer on 07879 400544.

Alternatively, application forms are available at the Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group stand in Hucknall Library on Market Place and at the Dispatch Office. The closing date for applications is Friday November 18.

The cost to take part is £5 and profits from the festival will be presented to Hucknall Rotary Club to be distributed to local good causes.

Participants use their own trees, to a maximum height of six feet. Decorations can be based on a theme of your choice but only LED lights are permitted. There is a maximum capacity of 70 trees at the church on Market Place.