A CHRISTMAS tree with a difference was the centre-piece of the 19th Hucknall Christmas Carnival on Wednesday.
It is a towering 8m-high metal structure and the lights of its ‘branches’ made for a spectacular sight. The civic trees are provided each year by Ashfield District Council.
On a calm and clear evening - before yesterday’s strong winds - the carnival attracted an estimated attendance of 5,000.
The customary procession from the car park of Hucknall’s Tesco Extra superstore was once again led by the Nottingham Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade Band.
The Santa sleigh of carnival organisers Hucknall Rotary Club delighted many children on its way to the Market Place for the tree light switch-on ceremony. Floats this year included one entered by the group aiming to re-open Hucknall’s Byron Cinema.
The countdown for the switch-on was led by the leader and deputy leader of Ashfield Council, Coun Chris Baron (Lab) and Coun John Wilmott (Lab).
Entertainment was provided on stage by Phil Rostance and the Marshall Band and Capital FM’s Dino and Pete. Christmas messages were given by the rector of Hucknall, Canon Kathryn Herrod, and Rotary Club president Ian Young.
A total of 3,500 people viewed the delightful Christmas tree festival in the Parish Church, with long queues forming during the event. Visitors were invited to choose their favourite trees in both adult and children’s sections.
The festival continues today from 10 am to 8 pm and tomorrow from 10 am to 12 midday.
Other attractions were a fun fair on the Market Place, carol singing by a choir at Central Methodist Church, a Santa’s grotto in the 2nd Hucknall Scout hut and a craft fair at the John Godber Centre, where Jacqueline Illingworth had her head shaved during the evening to raise money for the Philippines disaster.
Mr Young said he was very pleased that once again there had been an excellent response from the Hucknall community for the event, while Coun Wilmott praised a total of 200 volunteers who had got involved.