Matlock lights up for Christmas

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As the festive season approaches and faint chorus’s of ‘Jingle Bells’ may be heard in the distance, businesses and councillors have been working like Santa’s elves to get the town ready for Christmas.

One of the highlights of Matlock’s calender – the Victorian Christmas Market – will be taking place on December 6, 7 and 8 this year, offering the usual array of mulled wine, gifts and merriment guaranteed to banish the winter blues.

Visitors to the weekend will be able to browse through more than 200 stalls featuring traditional craft, local produce, gifts and refreshments.

Sainsburys will return with their food demonstrations and tasting and Circuswhiz will stage circus workshops in a large inflatable circus ring.

On Saturday, December 7, Santa Claus will parade through the streets accompanied by the Midshipman Carnival Show Band on a coach and horses from the Red House Stables, in Darley Dale. Then at 4.45pm, BBC television and radio presenter Sarah Teal will switch on the Christmas lights – transforming Matlock into a sparkling winter wonderland.

There will be jugglers, a fire eater, clowns and carnival bands are among the entertainment on offer, and on Friday, December 6, the Salvation Army Band will be playing throughout the day.

Councillor Geoff Stevens, chairman of the organising committee – a partnership between Matlock Town Council and the Matlock Business Group, said: “We have been working very hard since the early part of the year to make this the best ever Christmas weekend, early indications are that we will be welcoming visitors from all parts of the country to enjoy our special weekend.

“The event will finish with a bang on Sunday, December 8, at 5.15pm with a Christmas firework spectacular.”

Some limited stall spaces are left. To find out more, call Matlock Town Council on 01629 583042 or visit www.matlock.gov.uk

Throughout Advent, Matlock Town Team has organised a host of festive activities – helped along by a £2,000 cash boost from Matlock Town Council.

Wendy Spencer, of the town team, said: “The council want Matlock to move forward and have been a massive help us.”

There will be a late night shopping event on December 5 when businesses will be open until 8pm. There will also be a Christingle service by Churches Together at 5pm and a performance from DaleDiva at 7pm, which will be introduced by Matlock’s mayor Cllr David Jones.

This year, the annual Christmas window dressing competition is being organised by the town team. It will be judged by Rob Short, the chairman of the town team, and Cllr Jones between December 5 and 10.

Santa Claus will be coming to town on December 14, 21, 23 and 24.

Between 10am and 4.30pm on December 14 there will be entertainment on offer including an organ grinder, balloons, chestnuts, hog roast and reindeers, as well as performances from Silver Sax Band, Darley Dale Brass Band, a choir and Crich Brass Band.

On December 21, the BMW Brass Band and Cromford Community Brass Band will perform. Between 1.30pm and 4pm Matlock Musical Theatre will sing.

On December 23 Darley Dale Brass Band will perform between 10am and noon and on December 24 from 11am Darley Dale Brass Band will play.