The clock is ticking down the hours to the start of the biggest Christmas weekend Spalding has seen for years.
The town centre will buzz tomorrow (Friday) in the run-up to the Christmas lights switch-on at 7.15pm, Saturday sees morris dancers and Spalding Marching Ambassadors brightening up market day – and more than 80 stalls will sell crafts, festive gifts and other treats on Sunday, when a Christmas market includes fun for kids with fairground rides.
There’s also free parking at council car parks on Sunday.
Ayscoughfee Hall will host a weekend winter fair when you can meet Santa Claus.
Shops will open extra hours so you can buy Christmas treats while making the most of the festivities.
Gavin Allmand, director of Hills Department Store and chairman of Spalding Town Retailers’ Association, said: “Tomorrow, the lights switch-on day, marks the full launch of Christmas in Spalding.
“This is probably the biggest Christmas weekend Spalding has held. It sees the coming together of three events organised by various groups, but which means it is well worth visiting the town centre and supporting your local shops.”
Rhona Pieczka, manager of Beales Department Store in Spalding, said: “We are excited about this weekend. It’s a big weekend for us because of the Christmas lights switch-on, the winter fair at Ayscoughfee Hall and the Christmas market on Sunday.”
Tomorrow afternoon’s attractions include the naming of the 2014 Tulip Queen and a schools’ choir competition.
Town centre manager Dennis Hannant said: “This is going to be an exciting weekend for Spalding with something for everyone – from singing angels in the schools’ choir competition to Father Christmas, and the opportunity to buy that special gift for someone special.
“The Spalding Christmas Festival has been jointly organised by the hard working Spalding Retailers’ Association committee and Tulip Radio.
“Many of the shops in the town will be open late on Friday and Saturday and until 4pm on Sunday – not forgetting the Christmas craft fair at Ayscoughfee Hall. Please come along and have a thoroughly enjoyable time and support your local businesses and town.”
Shoppers are already heading for the fragrance counter at Hills to buy treats like Viktor and Rolf’s Flowerbomb and Spicebomb as well as Joules fashions, Fiorelli bags, costume jewellery, Thorntons Advent calendars and cookery and homeware essentials.
Beales has seen a surge in everything related to Frozen, Lego, family games and traditional Mason and Cash baking wares.
l See WOW and our Christmas Gift Guide for more on the big weekend.