Saltash set for a Victorian start to Christmas

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By Em_Williams | Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 22:28

Saltash will be stepping back in time to kick off Christmas this weekend. The town's traders, together with Saltash Town Council, are planning to create a Victorian atmosphere to mark the switching on of the Christmas lights and the Lantern Parade on Saturday 1st December.

Over 30 town centre shops will be open late, shopkeepers will be dressed in Victorian costume, and there will be traditional food on sale, including roasted chestnuts and sugar plums.

The main timings for the day are as follows:

10am to 8pm: Christmas Tree Display in St. Nicholas & St. Faith Church

12pm to 7pm: Craft Fairs in Victoria Gardens and Keast Mews, with live music

3pm to 7:30pm: Pedestrian Haven in Fore Street. Barrel organ, Victorian games & stalls

4:45pm: Lantern Parade leaves the Guildhall, going up Fore Street to Victoria Gardens

5pm: Civic Parade leads Lantern Parade from Victoria Gardens down Fore Street

5:15pm: Switching on of Christmas Lights and Nativity Play on the outdoor stage at the bottom of Fore Street.

Among the highlights will be 310 lanterns which have been made in local primary schools and community workshops funded by Saltash Town Council and FEAST. 60 children from Victoria Road Primary School in St. Budeaux will be carrying the lanterns they made over the Tamar Bridge, where they will be greeted by the Mayor of Saltash, Councillor Martin Gee.

There will also be a ship lantern which was made for the Truro City of Lights Parade a few years ago. It was in a bad state of disrepair, but Saltash Rugby Club have patched it up and will carry it in the Parade.

Also in Saltash will be a beautiful, authentic Victorian Omnibus complete with shire horses which will be parked on Fore Street during the afternoon and Poppy the donkey from Tamar Valley Donkey Sanctuary will be coming to town to join the Mayor, Mary, Joseph and others in the Civic Parade.

Councillor Hilary Frank, in charge of co-ordinating the event, said: "One of the legacies of hosting the Olympic Torch Relay in Saltash has been the enthusiasm it has generated for community events. It is wonderful to see the way the community is coming together to celebrate Christmas this year.

Students from Community School are setting up a Santa‟s Grotto, and instead of charging an entry fee they are asking for a donation to the Saltash Foodbank. Saltash  Environmental Group is setting up a stall showing children how to make Christmas decorations from natural resources. Actors from a local theatre group are dressing up as Oliver and the Artful Dodger and encouraging people to join in a singalong of „Consider Yourself‟ down Fore Street.

A local church group is setting up a coconut shy to raise funds for their trip to the slums of Uganda. Saltash Heritage Museum is staging a display of the way Saltash would have looked in Victorian days. So many people are getting involved. It is going to be magical."

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