Countdown to Christmas set to begin in towns

Santa in his grotto in Pocklington last year with some happy kids. Submitted by Dick Roberts.
Santa in his grotto in Pocklington last year with some happy kids. Submitted by Dick Roberts.

The countdown to Christmas officially gets underway in Pocklington and Market Weighton when both towns hold a festive extravaganza next month.

The Pocklington Festival of Christmas will take place on 2 December. Organised by local volunteers in conjunction with Pocklington Town Council, the event will feature a variety of attractions and festivities for people of all ages to enjoy, and the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on for the first time.

Father Christmas will arrive at All Saints’ Church at about 6pm on his Rocking Rudolph sleigh, with the assistance of Pocklington District Lions Club.

Choirs from Pocklington Infant School, St Mary and St Joseph Primary in Pocklington and Pocklington Community Junior School will be entertaining visitors to the church from about 5pm to 7pm. There will be even more entertainment in the church at about 7pm, when Woldgate School’s orchestra showcase their musical talent to visitors.

In the town centre, there will be about 26 stalls, performances from entertainer Dangerous Steve, a Salvation Army Brass Band and a dance troupe, while many shops will open late. There will also be a Christmas-themed fancy dress competition for shops. Town councillor Peter Winterton, who is one of the main organisers of the event, said: “This is the second year that our small committee have planned to make this annual event more inclusive and to engage as widely as possible within our community. We truly hope that everyone who attends this festive evening event will have a really enjoyable time.

“We would like to thank all our shop owners, managers and staff who have engaged with us so positively and merrily during the many weeks of planning and preparation. We hope that many of them will create some wonderful seasonal window displays and festive dress for the competitions as they certainly did last year. Our thanks also go to our friends in the Lions group for their planning and hard work for the Santa parade and grotto.

“We also thank the teams in our four schools within the town who have, once again agreed so enthusiastically to take the time to plan and take part in this event by singing and playing in the church.”

Market Weighton’s Christmas Tree Light Switch On event will be held on 3 December at 6pm. The lights will be switched on at 6pm by the guest of honour Christine Cawkwell near the Giant Bradley Statue. Once the lights are on carol singers will peform around the tree with all welcome to join in.

Then Pocklington District Lions Club will escort Santa on his sleigh down the High Street to his grotto at the Methodist Church where he will chat to children.

In addition, there will be craft and charity stalls on the High Street, a children’s funfair and plenty of shops will be open during the evening.

The event is being organised by the town council. Mayor of Market Weighton, councillor Peter Hemmerman, said: “It’s always a well attended event, a good evening. The shops will be opening late but it’s more of a celebration and thanking people for their custom throughout the year.”

Thanks to very generous donation from the Market Weighton Community shop the town council have been able to upgrade the cross street Christmas Lights, which will add to the festive look of the town.

Market Weighton’s High Street and roads leading to it will be closed for the event from 5.15pm.