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Christmas in Neston - the Lanterns are Coming Back!

Published: 16th October 2018 12:00

By popular demand, Neston's Christmas Lantern Parade will return this year, on Saturday 1st December, along with a festive market and a day full of entertainment throughout the town centre.

Elves and Bells - Christmas event in NestonLanterns at Christmas 2015, the last time the parade took place. Photo by Bernard Rose

The Parade forms part of a revamped Christmas celebration in the town centre called ‘Elves and Bells', organised by the CH64 Events Group, led by Hip & Harmony CIC.

Paula Prytherch, Creative Director of Hip & Harmony, says: "A donation from Neston Town Council this year gives us the opportunity to involve over 500 local people from the age of 3 to 90 years in this wonderful day.

"We are working closely with the primary schools and other local arts organisations to produce spectacular performances throughout the day. There will be something for everyone, from brass bands to live donkeys!"

Mega Market

In a whole day of festive frolics, residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to enjoy a Christmas Market, with stalls in the Town Hall, on the Market Square and on Brook Street - which will be closed to traffic for the day.

Nicky McMahon from Neston Town Council said: "The deadline for applications for stalls has passed and I am delighted to say that we are completely full, with a small waiting list.

"We've got a really good mix, something for everyone."

Neston Christmas MarketPhoto by Bernard Rose

Alongside the market there will be masses of entertainment, on the Town Hall stage and in the Market Square, with buskers dotted around the town centre to add to the seasonal atmosphere.

Town Centre businesses will be joining in the fun, with special offers, tastings and festive decorations galore.

David Ince, Chair of Neston & District Chamber of Trade, said: "This is a time where we look forward to the business community coming together to engage with our community and embrace the festive spirit that our great town is creating this year."

Santa's on his way....

Neston Rotary Club will be bringing special guest Santa to co-host proceedings, arriving on his Sleigh to open the Market at 1pm, before settling into his specially created Grotto, in Brook Street, for the afternoon, where he will greet local children.

Elves & Bells Christmas event in NestonNeston Rotary Club will be bringing Santa along to meet the children.

There will be a live Nativity at Neston Parish Church, performed by actors with real animals (and maybe the odd one in a costume!)

The Lantern Parade will begin assembling on the Market Square at 4.30, with the Parade to the Cross at 5pm. There will be carols and a blessing before the town's Christmas Lights are officially switched on by the Mayor of Neston at 5.30pm.

Entertainment (including a whole-schools performance) and the Market will continue until 7pm, when all good elves should be off to bed, tired but happy after a day of Christmas cheer.

Running Order on the Day

(May be subject to change, but this is what's currently being aimed for):

1:00pm Grand opening of the Christmas Market by a 'Special Guest' - Brook St Entrance
1:00-7:00pm Christmas Market
1:00-4:00pm Live Tableau of the Nativity - St Micheal & Mary's Church grounds
1:00-4:30pm Live entertainment - Town Hall Stage
1:00-7:00pm Live Entertainment - Market Square Stage
1:00-4:00pm Busk Stops - Entertainment around the town
1:30-4:00pm Santa's Grotto - Ground Floor Unit, Brook Street
4:30pm Assemble for the parade in the Market Square
5:00pm Parade leads from the Market Square to Neston Cross
5:30pm Lights Switch On - followed by a Blessing, Speaches & Community Singing
6:00pm Head back to the Market square for the Grand Finale
6:30pm School Choirs Grand Finale.

Making Lanterns

Some lanterns will be created in workshops at local primary schools. Public lantern workshops will be taking place at Neston Community Youth Centre on Sunday November 18th, 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm. Booking is essential, book online via the links.

You may also wish to put the Friday Market in your diary for November 30th, as there will be a top secret surprise taking place...elf-tastic!

More details about the event will be published over the coming weeks. If you need any further information in the meantime, please contact Paula Prytherch, Hip & Harmony, on 07588 559729 or paula@hipandharmony.co.uk.

Elves & Bells
Neston Town Centre

Saturday 1st December 2018, 1pm to 7pm

Christmas in Neston

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