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THE countdown for one of the most anticipated events in Melksham has begun as the town gets ready for the big Christmas lights switch on this weekend!
There’s a festive buzz around the town as people look forward to see what the Melksham Christmas Lights team has created this year.
Ahead of the big switch on at 5pm, the usual Christmas Fayre will take place from 2pm, with over 60 stalls hosted by local groups and businesses spread out between the Assembly Hall and the Market Place. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a Christmas gift or maybe something for yourself!
Father Christmas will arrive on his sleigh at 2pm before settling down in his grotto in the Town Hall where he will meet the children and give out gifts.
There will be hot food and drinks and mulled wine to keep you warm and entertainment throughout the afternoon provided by Melksham Music and Drama (MMAD), popular local singing duo, the Decibelles and the Melksham Pop Soul and Gospel choir, PSG.
Alan Weymouth from the Christmas Lights Group said, “Paul and the team have been extremely busy ensuring the town has a fantastic lights display again for the forthcoming season of goodwill, helping to make Melksham a special place at Christmas, and despite a few customary setbacks the town centre will hopefully be ablaze with colour when the lights are switched on. Thanks to everyone who has stopped to thank us all for our efforts, we are encouraged and very grateful.
“In the Market Place there will be professionally run children’s amusements and hopefully our respected local firemen will be on hand, no ‘shouts’ permitting, to offer advice and let everyone see the equipment necessary to run a modern fire and rescue service, along with a number of refreshment stalls.
“Jean Harris who has so ably for 25 years organised the popular Christmas Fayre says stalls were fully booked months ago and will be run in the usual way with many of our leading charity groups trying to raise awareness of their activities and raise a few pounds for their coffers. The lights group are proud of this opportunity to welcome local groups to our event, long may it continue. Please make an effort to support these worthwhile causes if you can.
“The event will close with entertainment from the lovely Decibelles and of course the switch on and a short fireworks display from the award-winning Distant Thunder Fireworks team. Thanks to Alan from Melksham Radio for once again compering the event.”
Entry to the event is free and parking throughout Melksham on Saturday 3rd December will also be free.
“Finally a plea, money I’m afraid,” added Alan. “The Christmas Lights Team will be around all day and if you wish to buy an envelope for our raffle for £1 (£250 prize) or just throw a few bob in one of our buckets (for watching our brilliant fireworks display for example), all donations will be gratefully received so that our reputation for providing ‘the best Christmas Lights around’ which is what you always tell us, can continue. If you feel you would like to help us on the day we’ll be glad to hear from you.”
“It will greatly assist us if everyone makes every effort to put any rubbish in the bins provided, then we can all get away home at a reasonable time, thanks in anticipation of your full co-operation on this.
A road closure will be in place covering the entire Market Place and High Street up to the Parson’s Nose between 4pm and 6pm. This is to allow for the huge numbers of people that gather to see the spectacular lights switched on, so please be aware that there will be no vehicular access to the Market Place, Church Street (including the car park) or the High Street during that time.
Traffic will be able to exit the area but not enter once the road closure is in place.
Organisers ask that those who are able to walk to the event do so and for those who need to drive, respect access to businesses and in homes.
Organisers also ask those hoping to visit Santa’s Grotto to be aware that queues will unfortunately have to be closed at 4.45pm to ensure that everyone waiting can be seen – plus Santa needs to get on with his present wrapping!
They apologise if this causes any inconvenience or disappointment, but they have to help Santa as this is a very busy time of the year for him!