Christmas Tree Festival ready to usher in yuletide joy

OUR PHOTO shows Janet Archer (left) with the Rev Kathryn Herrod and Myles Sketchley at last year's festival
OUR PHOTO shows Janet Archer (left) with the Rev Kathryn Herrod and Myles Sketchley at last year's festival

FOR those who think there is plenty of time before you have to start coming up with plans for Christmas, think again.

For the festive season is just over 11 weeks away now and a clear indication that it is looming large is the launch of Hucknall’s much-loved Christmas Tree Festival — a spectacular event that coincides with the town’s Christmas Carnival.

The event takes place in Hucknall Parish Church, with businesses and groups choosing their own themes for decorated trees which they display.

The festival will start on Wednesday December 5 — the night of Hucknall Christmas Carnival — from 6 pm to 8 pm.

It will continue on Thursday December 6 from 10 am to 12 midday, 2 pm to 4 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm, Friday December 7 from 10 am to 12 midday, 2 pm to 4 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm, and Saturday December 8 from 10 am to 12 midday.

Last year’s winners were Broomhill Junior School and Lawrence Severn butchers, who are again looking forward to taking part. The first group to sign up for the 2012 festival is Leenside (Hucknall) Women’s Institute.

All the trees in last year’s festival can be seen on a specially-created Hucknall Christmas Tree Festival Facebook page.

Main organiser Janet Archer said: “Last year’s festival was a magical, twinkling display of more than 60 trees with something for all ages.

“These ranged from Lawrence Severn’s comical Christmas dinner tree to a thought-provoking tree of prayers.

“There were edible trees from Sweet Cafe and the T8s cafe, home-made decorations from schools and children’s groups, ingenious use of recycled materials and even a visitors’ tree which was decorated by people calling at the church.

“During the festival, the church is a sight to behold and it is a very emotional occasion. I am amazed by the ingenuity of the themes and decorations and the enthusiasm of the participants.

“It is also an ideal opportunity to help engender a strong community spirit and for different groups and businesses to mingle and get to know each other.”

Those taking part are asked to make a donation of at least £5. Last year the festival raised £452, with all the proceeds going to good causes and charities through Hucknall Rotary Club.

Entry by the public is free of charge and the church is accessible by wheelchair. Last year the festival attracted a total of 1,000 visitors.

Tea, coffee and mince pies are on sale in the church coffee shop. School groups and people from residential homes are welcomed by prior arrangement.

Application forms can be downloaded from the website, where there is a list of suggested themes to help get people started.

The organisers would like to hear from any schools or musical societies who would like to entertain duriing one of the sessions.

A request is also being made for any local businesses to sponsor a tree festival leaflet, which is being sent out to 14,000 homes and businesses all over Hucknall.

Janet can be contacted on 07879 400544.