Congratulations to our 2016 Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival winners who are:
Child individual Isabelle’s Christmas Tree Isabelle Day
Child group Owl I want for Christmas Brightlingsea Junior School
Child/Runners-up (Highly Commended) It all begins with ABC Childminding Group and A Fishmas Tree Brightlingsea Infant School Kids Club & Nursery
Adult individual Angel Delight Zoe Aldridge
Adult group A Christmas Tree-t WoolyBuly Craft Group
Adult/Runners-up (Highly Commended) Notes on a Tree Sing Brightlingsea and Helping Hands at the Heart of the Community First Responders
CHILDREN’S QUIZ WINNERS
Quiz 8/11: Gracie Hempstead-Smith, age 11; Megan Plummer, age 9
Quiz 5/7: Cody Buck , age 7; Sullivan French, age 5
Guess the Lamb’s Name : Marie Murphy, age 5 – Lamb’s name “ Angel”
CHRISTMAS CAKE WINNER
Bob and Rose Gudger
What a weekend it’s been. With record visitor numbers (2299 to be precise), spectacularly creative trees, a host of live entertainment, Christmas gifts and goodies galore, enough home made cake to feed an army and the most wonderful festive atmosphere you could hope for, it has been a truly exceptional edition of Brightlingsea’s beloved Christmas Tree Festival.
There are just too many people involved in making this event possible to thank them all by name, but to everyone who created a tree, helped organise and keep the show on the road, entertained us royally, kept us fed and watered, and came to All Saints’ to view and judge the trees we say a huge heart felt thank you.
Once again the incomparable Chris Bloor closed the Festival with a family carols singalong which saw the church bursting at the seams and people standing (and dancing!) in the aisles. In a few hours we will have the results of the voting and further updates for you, but in the meantime we’ll let the massed voices of the All Saints’ congregation sing us out in style with their very own rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
What a wonderful first day we’ve had at the Festival. More than 1000 people have visited, we’ve had some terrific live entertainment from a host of volunteer musicians and singers, the refreshments team have done us proud with home made cakes, endless cups of tea and coffee, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, the Gift Shop and Pantry have been doing roaring trade all day, and the Christmas Trees, individually decorated by members of our community, have been spectacular
The Festival was opened by our visiting shepherd, who spent the rest of the day chatting to the children about his nativity story. We’ve had a visit from members of the Acorn Village community, this year’s official charity, who also provided some lovely musical entertainment. Mr Dickerson and his amazing musical organ greeted visitors as they arrived at the church from late morning until mid afternoon.
The day was rounded off by the traditional Festival Gala Concert, sponsored this year by Brightlingsea Boat Park & Ride, where the sell out audience enjoyed a very special programme of festive music and a veritable feast of delicious canapés.
After such a wonderful day there’s only one thing for it… we’ll have to do it all again tomorrow! The Festival will be open from 10am to 6pm on Sunday 11 December and this year’s festivities will conclude with the traditional family carols singalong at 6pm so do please come and see the trees for yourselves and and enjoy the truly unique atmosphere of our beautiful St James’s Church at this time of year.
What a wonderful start to our weekend of festive celebration! Friday night’s Music Has No Borders concert, supported by Pleass Thomson & Co, was a delight from start to finish. The ladies of Octavia, from the Colchester World Music Choir, under the direction of Bill Tamblyn, provided us with a round the world tour of festive music, and with the support of SPAR Brightlingsea delicious nibbles were served during the interval. Huge thanks must go to everyone who made the evening possible and to all who attended.
At last the Festival is finally here and at 10am today, Sat 10 December, our Nativity Shepherd will welcome the first visitors to Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival 2016.
The Festival is for children of all ages so do come and join us. The Shuttle Bus will start running from outside St James’ Church in the High Street at 10am, and will then run approximately half hourly circuits calling at the Park & Ride at Coop Fiveways on Samsons Rd, All Saints’ for the Festival and then back to St James’.
If you are driving to the festival please use the Park & Ride at Coop Fiveways as parking at the church is extremely limited.
If you have children with you bring them along to the fantastic children’s activities and competitions, which are located in the Lady Chapel.
On arrival you will receive your souvenir programme and also your judging form on which to vote for your favourites. There are some absolutely stunning trees in this year’s festival so you will be spoilt for choice!
The Gift Shop and Larder are both fully laden with delectable decorations, gorgeous gifts and scrumptious goodies to take home. And after all that excitement the refreshment table will be awash with delicious home made cakes and savouries for you to enjoy with a lovely cup of tea or soft drink (our thanks to Tesco Metro Brightlingsea for generously supporting the soft drinks).
And last but not least pick up some delicious hot chestnuts and a glass of mulled wine from our Alpine Chalet, supported by The Courtyard Rooms, Colne Valley Properties and Bumbles Greengrocers, which is located immediately outside the main door.
From 10am the shuttle bus will be running between All Saints’, the Park & Ride car park at Coop Fiveways on Samsons Rd and from outside St James’s Church in the High Street. First pick up will be from St James’ each morning At 10am.
If you are coming into Brightlingsea look out for the Park & Ride signs which will direct you to the car park. The post code for your sat nav is CO7 0RN
The bus makes a circuit approximately every 30 minutes from 10am and will finish at around 5.45pm.
Parking is very limited at the Church so please do use the Park & Ride.
There’s just one more day to go until the start of Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival 2016! To whet your appetites for this year’s festival let’s take a nostalgic look back at the 2015 event: