More than 50 groups sign up for Beccles Christmas Tree Festival

Youngsters from Sunbeams Pre School, Beccles have been making festive decorations for the Hungate Ch

Youngsters from Sunbeams Pre School, Beccles have been making festive decorations for the Hungate Christmas Tree Festival. - Credit: Nick Butcher

An amazing spectacle of colour, light and creativity will be on display at the Hungate Church Christmas Tree Festival next weekend.

Over the last 12 years the festival has continued to grow in popularity, both in the number of trees decorated and the people who visit them.

Once again there will be more than 50 trees, decorated by a variety of groups, organisations, and individuals.

Those decorated by schools, pre schools and children and young people’s organisations are always a big attraction, with 21 taking part this year.

And pre-school children who have been busy preparing for their tree this week are those from Sunbeams Educare in Common Lane.

Organised by the Friends of Sunbeams, the children have taken a frame in the shape of a Christmas elf and created an abundance of bright and colourful ‘selfie’s’ inside.

The youngsters have drawn pictures of themselves or attached their photograph before decorating their picture using stickers, glitter, pipe cleaners and cotton wool.

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Cheryl Harrison, co-manager at Sunbeams Educare said it was the fourth year Sunbeams have taken part.

“The children love doing it, it doesn’t matter what they create, anything goes. We have previously done pompoms and popcorn, flowers and decorated stockings and this is a lovely idea.”

The Christmas Tree Festival is just one of Sunbeams community ventures this year with the pre-school raising money for Barnadoes by taking part in a toddle and the children dressing as what they want to be when they grow up to add funds into Save The Children.

More than 40 children are expected to take part from the school and the Friends of Sunbeams will help decorate the tree, all of which will be available at the church next Friday morning for participants to dress.

During the festival there is an opportunity to vote for two favourites, one which has been decorated by adults and one by young people.

There is a Stable Tableau with life size Nativity figures for visitors to admire and also spot the various creatures who have taken up residence there.

The switch on of the tree lights will take place at 6.15pm next Friday following the switch on of the town Christmas lights.

This year the mayor, Caroline Topping, will be helped by children from Worlingham Primary School, whose tree last year was voted favourite in the Young People’s section.

As in previous years, some proceeds from the Festival will be used to support the work of local groups and charities.

Along with annual donations to the Mayor’s Appeal and Beccles Christmas Lights, this year Beccles Lido, Beccles Public Hall and St Michael’s South Porch Appeal will also receive donations.

•The festival is open next Friday, November 28, from 6.15pm to 9.30pm, Saturday, November 29, from 9.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday, November 30, noon to 5pm. The Stable Cafe will be open throughout the festival serving drinks, light refreshments and lunches.

Admission is £2 and accompanied children are free.