Christmas arrives in Long Sutton

Errol Warwick switches on Christmas lights in Long Sutton Market Place last year.
Errol Warwick switches on Christmas lights in Long Sutton Market Place last year.
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Long Sutton will come together for its festive highlight of the year on Saturday when the town throws open its arms to everyone to enjoy Christmas stalls, seasonal music and Santa giving free gifts to children in his grotto.

The hugely popular Christmas Festival is being held in the Market Place once again, with a whole host of attractions for all the family.

The town has embraced a white Christmas theme adopted by organisers Events and Entertainment in Long Sutton (EELS) this year, with sparkly window displays and decorations providing the perfect wintry backdrop to the event.

Stalls open for business from 9am, but the festivities get into full swing when a parade led by Santa in his sleigh sets off from the Baptist Church in West Street at 11am.

It will make its way round the houses via Dick Turpin Way before arriving at the grotto for the official start of the festival in the Market Place at noon.

Thanks to the local community supporting EELS’ fundraising efforts, children from Long Sutton and beyond are all able to enjoy a free present from Santa.

Individuals, siblings and families can also have their photo taken with Santa at a cost of £5 per photo, regardless of how many people are in it.

Children are asked to collect a coloured card and wait for the colour to be announced before joining the grotto queue, to reduce waiting times.

There will also be fairground rides, music on stage including from the church choir and Christmas Presence – a band formed especially for the event – and a wide variety of stalls providing ample opportunity to buy last-minute gifts.

EELS chairman Jack Tyrrell said: “There will be crafts, cakes, jewellery, different foods and much, much more.

“We tried to make sure there wouldn’t be more than two of any stall to give people lots of different things to see.”

The best-dressed window competition will be judged on the day by town crier Charlie Moore and Ivan Thompson.

The festival will run until about 5pm, with the road closed between the old A17 and the war memorial off London Road from 6am to 7pm.