Matlock set for best event yet

Kylie Pentelow - presenter and reporter for BBC East Midlands Today
Kylie Pentelow - presenter and reporter for BBC East Midlands Today

Matlock’s annual festive extravaganza is set to be one of the most memorable yet – as the event takes place during Hall Leys Park’s centenary year.

The award-winning park is marking its milestone this year and a packed programme of festive fun is set to take place.

Matlock Christmas illuminations.

Matlock Christmas illuminations.

The popular three-day Victorian event – one of the East Midlands biggest outdoor Christmas events – will run from Friday, December 2 to Sunday, December 4.

A seasonal market will be open each day with over 150 stalls in two marquees including a large craft section, seasonal gifts for all the family and new this year – a local produce food mall.

Producers who can usually be found at the town’s farmers market on the third Saturday of each month in the Imperial Rooms have been invited and will be venturing outside to open all weekend on the tennis court.

There will also be a chance to taste mulled wine, provided by Matlock Rotary Club, and other seasonal foods and for the children Derwent Valley Lions Club will be hosting Santa’s grotto.

The lights will be switched on by East Midlands Today presenter Kylie Pentelow and competition winners Aimee Ludlam and Charlotte Allsopp.

A full programme of entertainment will take each day from 10am with Zio’s and Mimbo Robotic Entertainers, Chester the Clown, fire eating and juggling by Phil Blackmore, festive music from a fairground organ and James McKay will be presenting his famous owls.

Proctors Nottingham Fun Fair will be in attendance through out the weekend with lots of children’s rides and even some rides for the adults and Mark Handley will entertain with songs from the shows.

There will be a Christmas parade through the streets on Saturday co-ordinated by Caroline Dale of The Red House Stables at Darley Dale and will include Father Christmas and Christmas celebrities.

New this year, appearing for the first time in Matlock, will be the Derby Midshipmen Carnival Show Band which will also be performing in the event arena during the afternoon.

On Saturday at 7.30pm in the Imperial Rooms Matlock Musical Theatre will present Christmas Old and New – an evening of carols, songs and party pieces along with mulled wine and mince pies.

Tickets are available from Matlock Tourist Information Office.

On Sunday afternoon the Long Eaton Militaires Carnival Show Band will perform in the arena and The Acapella Steel Band will be performing on the bandstand, followed by the ever-popular Christmas firework spectacular.

An exciting new addition to the entertainment programme will be the guest appearance on Sunday of the Super Hero “Stormtroopers.”

East Midlands Trains are also co-operating with the event and will be running an hourly train service from Nottingham and Derby and all stations on the line on Friday and Saturday and every two hours on Sunday.

Chairman of the organising committee councillor Geoff Stevens said: “All the arrangements are in hand for this to be the best Victorian Christmas weekend we have ever staged in Matlock.

“I know the people of Matlock look forward to this event each year, and regard it as the towns Christmas party. As this events popularity has grown we have welcomed many people from all over the country who now regularly come to join us in our Christmas celebrations ”