CHRISTMAS is coming to Worcester and preparations are well under way for a whole host of festive events and entertainment.
The festive fun will begin with the switching on of the Christmas lights on Saturday, November 25. At 4pm a starlight lantern parade will make its way from The Hive to Cathedral Square, where the light switch-on will take place.
The parade will be led by volunteers and puppeteers, taking invitees on a route that will light the streets and show off the volunteers’ lantern creations to the public lining the route in Broad Street and High Street.
For added festive splendour, the parade will include four lanterns produced by local artist Catt Standen, themed on the famous ballet The Nutcracker. These six-foot lanterns have been funded by Worcester BID and depict the magical Mouse King, the sweet Sugar Plum Fairy, a towering Toy Soldier and the Nutcracker story book.
In Cathedral Square, BBC Hereford and Worcester presenters will host live music performances running 4pm to 7pm from Poppy WS, Mike Skilbeck, the i-Sing Choir, and Jake of Diamonds as well as appearances from the cast of the Swan Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime on the main stage.
Worcester’s two biggest Christmas trees are now in place, all ready to be lit up on November 25. The tree at the Cathedral island is 30 feet high, while the one at New Road island is a whopping 36 foot!
Worcester’s traditional Victorian Christmas Fayre will this year run from Thursday November 30 until Sunday December 3, with nearly 200 stalls filling the city centre streets.
Seasonal stalls offering locally-sourced food, drink, crafts and unique gifts will be in place in High Street, Cathedral Square, Pump Street, New Street, Friar Street, Cornmarket and The Shambles.
Visitors can enjoy a host of festive traditions such as roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, and enjoy stepping back in time to how Christmas might have looked 150 years ago.
There will be a fantastic programme of entertainment, including Victorian characters, lofty entertainers on stilts, brilliant musicians and buskers on street corners. And no visit to the Fayre would be complete without a ride on the traditional vintage carousel in the Cornmarket!
A few days later, there will also be a special Christmas Gift Market in the city centre, running from December 8 to 10.
Mayor of Worcester, Coun Louis Stephen, said: “Christmas in Worcester is always a magical time with so much going on. I’m very much looking forward to the festive season and joining in as many of the Christmas events as possible!”
First Bus is sponsoring this year’s Victorian Christmas Fayre and will be operating its Park & Ride service (number 910), providing a cheap and convenient way to visit the Fayre. The Park & Ride goes from County Hall to Worcester Crowngate Bus Station, on Friday from 5pm until 10pm; on Saturday from 8:35am until 6pm, and on Sunday from 9.45am to 3.30pm.
Fares will be £2 single or £4 return and the company is also offering a £10 group ticket – available for up to five people, providing unlimited travel all day within the Worcester network. The group ticket is only available on the First Bus app.
First Bus will also be providing an enhanced service throughout the Fayre, with extra buses. Find out more at www.firstbus.co.uk/worcestershire/plan-journey/worcester-victorian-fayre