Christmas festival turns Hucknall Market Place into winter wonderland

Jackie Markham surrounds herself with all things Christmasy during the Festival on the Market Place in Hucknall on Wednesday.
Jackie Markham surrounds herself with all things Christmasy during the Festival on the Market Place in Hucknall on Wednesday.

Santa Claus made his grand entrance at this year’s Hucknall Festival with the help of a car rather than the traditional team of reindeer.

But otherwise the popular annual event was a classic Christmas event which saw the Market Place transformed into a winter wonderland and large crowds turn out for an evening of live entertainment and festive fare.

Rotarians Dave Spencer, left, and Robert Copley on duty at the Christmas Festvial in Hucknall on Wednesday night. nhud hucknall christmas(2)

Rotarians Dave Spencer, left, and Robert Copley on duty at the Christmas Festvial in Hucknall on Wednesday night. nhud hucknall christmas(2)

The Christmas tree lights were switched on by Olympic gymnast sisters Becky and Ellie Downie, while a skating rink proved popular with young and old alike.

Performers from the Believe Academy, the Phase One Dance Group, Butlers Hill Infants School and Active Ashfield took to a stage for song and dance turns, where they were joined by Kang Hang martial artists and magician Charlie Bates.

Kim Pears, manager of the Godber Centre, said the event was “bigger and better attended than last year” with “a good atmosphere.”

“The stage was very well placed and the ice rink was really popular. There was a Santa’s grotto where chocolates were handed out in return for a donation. I thought that was really kind-hearted.

Nine year old Abbie Dysdale, left, and her 8 year old sister, Libbie, get some help around the rink from a couple of ice loving penguins during their visit to the Hucknall Christmas Festival on Wednesday.

Nine year old Abbie Dysdale, left, and her 8 year old sister, Libbie, get some help around the rink from a couple of ice loving penguins during their visit to the Hucknall Christmas Festival on Wednesday.

“All the volunteers worked really hard to make sure everyone had a really good time. Hats off to them all!

“It’s the highlight of my December and the start of Christmas as far as I’m concerned.”

This year’s Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary Magdalene church boasted 61 trees, with the entry from Hillside Primary School taking the top prize in the junior section.

Judges declared Hucknall’s U3A the winners, with entries from Specsavers and the John Godber Centre coming second and third.

Scarlette Simpson, 3, knows the number one place to be on a Wednesday night in Hucknall, when she visited the Christmas Festival held on the Market Place.

Scarlette Simpson, 3, knows the number one place to be on a Wednesday night in Hucknall, when she visited the Christmas Festival held on the Market Place.

Carols were sung around Byron’s memorial, large crowds thronged through the stalls at the Christmas market and the Torkard Ensemble performed in the Central Methodist Church.

The John Godber Centre hosted a very successful Christmas bazaar with patrons crowding in to support the many organisations who had raffles, tombolas and lucky dips.

County councillor John Wilmott said: “This was a very successful festival with something for everyone.

“Special thanks must go out to Allan and Andrew for the organisation of the event, and to all the volunteers from the Rotary Club,and to Ashfield District Council for the funding and for organising the market. It was a good night for all.”

Jackie Smith, left, and Joan Shephard served up some festive treats from their stall on the Christmas market at the Festival held on Wednesday night.

Jackie Smith, left, and Joan Shephard served up some festive treats from their stall on the Christmas market at the Festival held on Wednesday night.

Father and Mrs Christmas line up with Hucknall Community First Forum councillors Trevor Locke and John Wilmott

Father and Mrs Christmas line up with Hucknall Community First Forum councillors Trevor Locke and John Wilmott

A rapt audience in front of the stage at the Hucknall Festival.

A rapt audience in front of the stage at the Hucknall Festival.

Santa Claus makes his grand entrance at the Hucknall Festival

Santa Claus makes his grand entrance at the Hucknall Festival