Friday festivities get under way

Visitors set for Christmas fun in Axminster and Seaton.

CHRISTMAS officially gets under way at Axminster and Seaton tonight (Friday) – when both towns stage an evening of festive fun.

Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce’s late night shopping event looks set to be a real cracker this year – with a little help from Tesco.

A free ice rink is being installed in the main car park outside the new store, open from 3pm to 9pm and again, on Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.

Meanwhile, many town centre shops will be open until 8pm with town crier, David Craner, around all day to herald in the season of goodwill.

A fancy dress competition for youngsters up to 14 takes place at 5pm, with the winner getting to switch on the Christmas tree lights alongside the mayor, Peter Burrows, at 6pm, just ahead of Santa’s arrival in The Square.

Chamber chairman Marcus Hartnell said: “This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever before with something for all the family.”

Most Read

Father Christmas will be at the Community Resource Centre, in Fore Street, from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Admission is �3 per child, which includes a Christmas present.

Other Friday night highlights include:

l Horse and carriage rides by Woodlander Carriages around town from 3pm to 7pm - a really fantastic family treat.

l A Christmas food and craft market in the town hall from 4pm to 9pm.

l Carol Singing in Windsor Gardens and around the town with Christians Together from 4pm.

l A candlelit procession from 5.15pm from the town hall down Fore Street and into The Square with Seaton Primary School choir singing carols in The Square at 5.25pm

On Saturday, December 10, there will be community carol singing in The Square from 10 am.

n AT Axminster, Festive Friday gets under way in Trinity Square at 5.30pm when mayor Andrew Moulding will proclaim the festivities under way.

The packed programme of events has again been organised by the town’s Rotary Club and includes the arrival of Santa, courtesy of the Lions Club, and baton-twirling performances by the colourful Karizma Majorettes.

One of the highlights, this year, will be a performance by the acclaimed Lyme Regis Town Band who will also play for the carol singing.

There will be songs from local choirs, a Punch and Judy show, mince pies and mulled wine to enjoy – and many of the local shops will stay open late.