Saffron Walden Christmas lights switch on event will provide boost to good causes

PUBLISHED: 11:21 17 November 2017

Christmas lights switch on in Saffron Walden in 2016. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Christmas lights switch on in Saffron Walden in 2016. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Roger King

Saffron Walden's Christmas lights will be switched on during the evening of Friday December 1 to coincide with late night shopping in the town and some 229 charities who will set up stalls in King Street.

Christmas lights switch on in Saffron Walden in 2016. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTOChristmas lights switch on in Saffron Walden in 2016. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The entertainment will start at 4.30pm. Good causes will be selling Christmas gifts. Santa’s Grotto, organised by Saffron Walden Round Table, will be in the town hall on December 1 from 4.30pm to 8.30pm and on Saturday, December 2 from 10am to 4pm.

Patrick Hawke-Smith, director of Saffron Walden Initiative, said: “We are delighted that there will be the usual full range of charity stalls along King Street, offering hot and cold refreshments, selling Christmas gifts and providing entertainment. Late night shopping is always a great event in Saffron Walden to kick off the festive season, and a really important opportunity for local charities and community groups to raise valuable funds and promote their work. We hope people will support them as much as you can.”

The following day an ice-rink will open on the common and run until Friday December 22. The rink, which is plastic (so it will not melt) is part of a festive event called Wintasia.

It will have added attractions including German sausages, hot chocolate, a bar and a fire pit to toast marshmallows. There will also be a photo booth with an Alpine background where people can take pictures of themselves on a ski lift.

The charities for the switch-on include Girls Brigade, Brownies and Explorers. 1st Saffron Walden Girls Brigade; 1st Saffron Walden Scout Group; 1st Thaxted Explorers; 2nd Newport Brownies; 5th Saffron Walden Scout Group; Accuro (Care Services); Ashdon & Saffron Walden Young Farmers Club; Ashdon Cricket Club; Churches Together in Saffron Walden; East Anglia Children’s Hospices; Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust; Guildhall Girls Thaxted WI; Home Start Uttlesford; Inner Wheel Club of Saffron Walden; Macmillan Cancer Support; Moonwalk - Walk the Walk; Newport Amateur Theatrical Society; Organic Countryside CIC; Reverse Rett; Saffron Walden Ladies Circle; Saffron Walden Mencap Society; Saffron Walden Resource Centre; Saffron Walden Riding for the Disabled; Saffron Walden Stroke Club; Saffron Walden Summit Explorers; St Clare Hospice; Support 4 Sight; Uttlesford Citizens’ Advice; Wood Green, The Animals Charity.

Places at Santa’s Grotto, which are £5 per child, can be booked online at www.swrt.org/grotto. The lights will be switched on outside the town hall at 6pm.

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