Festival of Christmas Trees - December 2nd, 3rd, 4th 2016
The amazing eighty-nine decorated Christmas Trees in Holy Cross Church attracted nearly six thousand visitors to the ninth Festival of Christmas Trees with visitors coming from the Medway towns and Isle of Sheppey in the east to Odiham in the west. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are very much encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year they certainly excelled themselves with more than ever hand crafted decorations. One particular display titled “The Santa Special Tree” had been months in the planning and development. Photographs of this year’s Festival can be viewed in the website’s photo gallery. The eighty-nine trees displayed had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield’s community – schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and associations, community support groups as well as individual families.
During Friday evening visitors were entertained by Sean Martin playing the organ, and Bernard Tagliavini singing and playing the guitar.
Saturday morning Uckfield FM undertook an Outside Broadcast within the Church and interviewed visitors and broadcast live performances by Beth Ellwood, John Pontefract and Alan Lannaghan. Then in the afternoon these musicians performed again. However, this time they were also joined by Kristie Gladman and Charlie Damazer, and Sean Martin. Outside the Church and next to the Nativity Crib (made by the residents of the Malt House Trust) the wonderful Brass Ensemble of Uckfield Concert Brass played a selection of carols and Christmas music.
‘Jimmy the Juggling Jester’ was on hand Sunday morning to entertain children, and during the afternoon Sean and Alan again played to a practically packed house of visitors. Children could also undertake a Quiz and then go to the Belmont Centre and try their hand at decorating biscuits, and having their face painted.
Visitors were exceedingly well catered for throughout the Festival. In the Belmont Centre there was Morning Coffee with Mince Pies, followed by Lunches, and later in the day Afternoon Teas were available. On the Friday evening Uckfield celebrated a Late Night Christmas Shopping which this year featured nine local Primary Schools performing and singing carols in the ‘town square’, and the Church remained open that evening open until 9.00 pm.
To view the photo gallery click here. For details of a possible 2017 Festival please visit our website later in 2017.