BROMSGROVE will hold its very first Christmas Market next weekend as part of two days of festive fun for all the family.
The event, which is combined with the annual lights switch-on, will take place next Friday and Saturday (November 20 and 21).
This year, following on from the popular MidWinterFest, the craft stalls, carol singing and outdoor bar will take centre stage on the High Street. They wll be open, outside Argos and the Slug and Lettuce from 10am to 4pm on Friday and between 10am and 6pm on the Saturday. The event has been organised by Bromsgrove District Council, in conjunction with the Friends of St John’s.
There will be more than 20 crafters offering local items from seasonally decorated stalls, Christmas goodies and food, as well as entertainment throughout the day.
Among them will be Lilac Elephant, which offers unusual fabric quilted gifts, including advent calendars and tree decorations, Wychbold Fudge, RAW Artwork, creators of customised bespoke wall art and Puddleducks, designers of Christmas cards and gifts. Some crafters will be there for one day, others for both.
Several charities, including the Willows Hedgehog Rescue and St Basil’s, will be selling fund-raising Christmas cards and be offering information to visitors.
An opening ceremony at 11am on the Friday will be attended by MP Sajid Javid, Chairman, Coun Caroline Spencer and other local dignitaries. During this ceremony the ‘best dressed window’ in the High Street will be announced.
Entertainment will include the Vintage Class Singers, the Someone at the Door Samba band and the WI choir which will be singing Christmas carols.
Real ale and food will be available at a bar being ran by The Little Alehouse.
Other food and drink on offer includes a barbecue and cocktails from the Slug and Lettuce, cakes and muffins from Lorita’s Bakehouse, freshly cooked pizza from Pizza Heaven, mulled wine, hot chocolate.
Friends of St John’s Chairman Jo Slade said: “We were both excited and amazed at the response we had to offering stalls at the Christmas Market and thank you to everyone who applied.
“The market has already gone from having 14 stalls to 24 so hopefully it will be a big hit with both the traders and visitors to the town centre.”
Coun Rod Laight, whose portfolio covers leisure and cultural services, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Friends of St John’s to put on the very first Christmas Market in the town.
“Christmas is coming early to Bromsgrove and there’s going to be plenty for visitors to get involved in to start the celebrations.”
This year’s Bromsgrove Christmas lights will be turned on this year by town athlete Helen Russell.
Helen, who has represented Great Britain in triathlons, duathlons and aquathlons, will be joined by Bromsgrove District Council chairman, Coun Caroline Spencer.
The pre-lights switch-on roadshow, being hosted by Andrew Easton from BBC Hereford and Worcester, will be outside the Golden Cross pub with the fun starting from 3.30pm and the lights switch-on taking place at 5.30pm.
There will be a special visit from Father Christmas and his merry helpers and there will be live music from the Rock Choir, Erica Halley, Nathan Farrell and headliners The Candy Dolls.
Cast members from All & Sundry’s production of Dick Whittington will be in the high street to provide some entertainment and promote their pantomime which will be staged at Artrix December 13 to 20.
After the switch, residents will be able to head to the historic St John’s Church for the third MidWinterFest.
The Rubery switch-on will be at the same times a week later on November 28.
The line-up of entertainment for the event, on New Road, will include Issy Young, Sophie Thompson, Nathan Farrell, guitarist Susie Gee, the choir from St James Catholic School in Rednal and headliners The Candy Dolls.
For more information about these Christmas events, e-mail the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 01527 534030.