HUCKNALL’S annual Christmas tree festival has branched out as an amazingly successful seasonal attraction.
This year’s event — the third — was attended by thousands of people over its three days.
The opening of the festival, once again held at Hucknall Parish Church, coincided with the town’s Christmas Carnival and big queues formed outside the building for two hours.
To help towards smooth running of the opening, there were separate entry and exit doors.
One man commented: “I have lived in Hucknall for more than 50 years and I have never seen anything like it.”
A competition is held in connection with the festival, with separate sections for adults and children, and this is decided by a public vote.
This year’s adult winner was the Heydays Day Centre, based at Hucknall’s Herbert Buzzard Court flats, and the children’s winner was the 1st Hucknall Brownie pack with an entry which members called the ‘Gingerbread Tree’.
The festival organiser, Janet Archer, of Specsaver opticians on High Street, Hucknall, said: “It shows how popular the festival has become that we received a total of 1,800 votes. The response this year was absolutely overwhelming.
“The standard of tree decorations was once again incredibly high and people told me they had found it really hard to choose a winner.”
As with the first two years of the festival, the colourful trees made for a magnificent display all over the church.
People turned up from all over the East Midlands as well as from Wales and Scotland to patronise the festival.
The event has even gained international recognition because there were visitors from Colorado, USA.
Janet said: “I think the festival has gained prestige through being held in the historic parish church, which is world-renowned as the last resting place of Lord Byron.”
Last year’s festival winners, butchers Lawrence Severn and Broomhill Junior School, officially opened this year’s event and children of the school cut a ribbon.
Janet enthused: “The festival was once again a wonderful sight to behold and it is always quite an emotional occasion.
“I am full of praise for the ingenuity and wide variety of the themes chosen by the entrants and the sheer enthusiasm of those who take part.
“I would also like to thank everybody who helped to run the event, including people who acted as stewards, and everyone who came along to support us.
“Thanks are also due to Tesco, Greggs and Birds for donating mince pies.”
It was a free event but participants were asked to make a donation of at least £5. Proceeds were for the church restoration fund and Hucknall Rotary Club charities.