CHRISTMAS will officially arrive in Christchurch and Highcliffe when the two communities each gather to celebrate the switch-on of their festive illuminations with the help of Fred Dinenage, a snow machine and Santa Claus.
TODAY (Friday) sees the Christmas lights being switched on in Highcliffe after Santa arrives on a Yellow Buses’ open-top double-decker.
A snow machine will help create a festive atmosphere and there will be live music from James Emmett’s Ragtime Revellers. Children can also visit Santa’s Grotto.
As well as the lights, which will be switched on at 6pm, there will be a procession and lantern parade.
Many of the village’s shops will be staying open late and there will be hot drinks and food available.
VISITORS to Christchurch’s festival light switch on ceremony this weekend will be able to create their own Christmas nativity scene by posing for a photo with various props including live donkeys.
From 2pm-4pm at Christchurch Baptist Church there will be a ‘Get in the Picture’ where anyone can dress up as Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, or a wise man to make a snap which would be ideal to turn into Christmas cards.
Real reindeer will also be putting in an appearance at the Christmas event which starts this Saturday with the Xmas light switch on ceremony being performed by TV presenter Fred Dinenage and Christchurch Mayor Lesley Dedman in Saxon Square.
Starting at 10am there will be street food, a kids zone and family amusements on offer along with a Christmas market with a whole host of gifts and produce available to buy. An alpine bar in Saxon Square opens at 12pm.
The reindeer will arrive at the square at 3pm where they will be live music and dancing throughout the day.
At 5pm Santa’s parade starts from the Priory Church to arrive at Saxon Square in time for the Xmas lights switch on at 6pm.
Along with all the festive activities, there will also be street food, mulled wine and choirs and bands playing live music until 10pm.
Also on offer throughout the day will be free entrance to Christmas celebrations at Christchurch museum, Quay Road, where there will seasonal fun and entertainment for the whole family including live music in the gallery.
The museum are also running lantern making workshops between 1.30-3pm which have have to be booked in advance.