Christmas Harleston
Harleston Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Credit Ian Carstairs

This Christmas Harleston will be buzzing and there is no excuse not to catch some of the fun.

Friday 5th December will see the Christmas Lights Switch-On from 6.00pm, organised by a group of volunteers supported by the Town Council. This will be the usual glittering affair, with the centre of town filled with stalls, delicious refreshments, Santa’s Grotto at Harleston Information Plus in Exchange Street, and a variety of entertainments to please the crowds. Many shops will stay open till late. There are rumours of new Christmas lights and decorations that will bedeck the town, adding Christmas cheer until Twelfth Night.

Next day, Saturday 6th December, will see a new addition to the Harleston calendar. The first Harleston Christmas Market will fill the Market Square and Exchange Street with delicious aromas, sights and sounds, not to mention a feast of gift temptations. Over 20 gaily-decorated stalls in stripey gazebos will be selling everything from natural Christmas trees and decorative garlands and wreaths, to fabulous handmade Christmas decorations and gifts made by members of Harleston & Waveney Art Trail, home-baked Christmas cakes and gingerbread houses from Debbie MeCakes, hand-crafted jewellery, fashion accessories, ceramics and cushions.

The smells of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine will remind you of Christmas past and to stave off the rumbling tummies of Christmas present there will be delicious tacos with spicy chilli con carne, Flying Chef hot dogs, The Catering Company’s pulled pork, Dinky’s Donuts and Crumpet & Trumpet’s artisan quality food and drink. If you want something for later Paul’s Fish Box will have a feast of fish and shellfood, and there will be rare-breed meats from Maisiebrook Farm.

During the event, which will run from 9.30am to 3pm, there will be Christmas carols and tunes from Diss Discord, costumedmembers of the Harleston Players, and the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band.

Another addition to the calender are two Late Night Shopping events on Fridays 12th and 19th December.  Catering for those who work out of town about 20 Harleston shops will stay open till 7.30pm on both nights. Many will be providing special offers and discounts as well as complimentary seasonal drinks and nibbles.

Adnams Cellar & Kitchen store will be having tastings of Christmas puddings and Gluhwein, Town Living has creative gift wrapping demonstrations, The Pod will be giving away their delicious hot chocolate to anyone who spends over £10, Rich Pickings will offer customers mulled wine and Figs & Roses are giving 10% off their wreaths and garlands.

And that’s not all – Father Christmas, ukulele-playing elves and street musicians will be adding to the merriment.

Christmas Harleston
ELF Ukelele Troubadours – performing at Late Night Shopping event on Friday 12th December

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