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Christmas is coming! The round up of Suffolk's festive events

Written by Laura Wharton on

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town, or at least to Suffolk!

For the round-up of Christmas festivities, street fairs and Christmas lights switch-on events, look no further:-

Saturday 24 November 2012 – Aldeburgh Christmas lights switch-on 
Sunday 25 November 2012 - Snape Maltings Cool Yule Festive Market 
Friday 30 November 2012 – Framlingham Christmas market and ice-skating rink 
Saturday 1 December 2012 – Halesworth Christmas lights switch-on 
Sunday 2 December 2012 - Woodbridge Christmas street fair and The Cut Christmas bazaar Halesworth 
Friday 7 December 2012 – Southwold and Lavenham’s Christmas lights switch-on 
Saturday 15 December 2012 - Father Christmas visits Woodbridge by boat 
Sunday 16 December 2012 - Father Christmas Sails into Snape Maltings 

ALDEBURGH - Saturday 24 November 2012
Comedian Lenny Henry will activate Aldeburgh’s festive illuminations this year, with celebrations commencing at 10am on Saturday 24th November 2012.
Festive-themed workshops throughout the town will include wine tasting, butchery, jive-dancing, floristry, the art of present wrapping and wreath-making. High Street stalls will serve mulled wine, cider, mince pies and Christmas fare, along with street food including a BBQ and Paella at Munchies, the Thai Kitchen, a hog roast, and festive baps from the White Lion.    

The programme of fantastic entertainment throughout the day includes The Jive Bunnies, Abbigail Harrison, Leiston Brass Band, Bassline and the Aldeburgh Music Club Choir.  At 3pm, Father Christmas will arrive in a horse drawn carriage. Family entertainment throughout the afternoon will include traditional games, face painting, pony rides street dancers.  

At 5pm, the winner of the Aldeburgh Primary School Christmas poster competition will assist Lenny Henry in switching on the lights. This is followed by a lantern procession at 5.30pm which is due to arrive on Aldeburgh beach (in front of the Brudenell Hotel), ready for the firework display at 6pm.    Please note, Aldeburgh High Street will be closed to all traffic from 12 noon until 6pm. There will be free parking in all council run car parks from 2pm.

FRAMLINGHAM Friday 30 November 2012 
Framlingham Castle and the neighbouring Castle Inn are joining together to put on a Christmas Fair, complete with ice-skating rink and Santa’s Grotto. The event will take place on The Castle car park between noon and 10pm with plenty of stalls selling festive food, crafts and gifts. Entertainment will include a snow machine, fairground rides, live music, carol singing and the opportunity to take a whirl on the floodlit ice-skating rink. For hungry shoppers, a hog roast will be provided by the Station Pub. Meanwhile, the Castle Inn will be serving hot soup, mulled wine/cider and hot chocolate. The whole of the town will also enter into the festive spirit with Christmas trees and twinkling lights adorning the Market Square, with many shops opening late.

HALESWORTH - Saturday 1 December 2012
Halesworth Christmas lights will be switched on by presenter former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves, on Saturday 1 December 2012.  Peter Purves on far left in his former days as presenter of Blue Peter. The traditional celebrations commence with carols by the Halesworth Festival Voices at 4.15pm, followed by a parade which will leave Rectory Street, whereby  Father Christmas and Peter Purves will make their way towards the White Hart for the lights switch-on. At 5.15, there will be more carols, followed by a blessing by Rev Cannon. There will then be a display of pyrotechnics from the church tower, followed by live music in the Market Place at 6:00pm. Halesworth will also be hosting the popular Lions Winter Street Fayre on 9 December, with a multitude of festive stalls lining the Thoroughfare. Please note, there will be free parking in the council-run carpark on 1 December from 4pm. As a Christmas shopping incentive, there will also be free parking in Halesworth from 10am on the 8, 15 and 22 December 2012.

SOUTHWOLD - Friday 7 December 2012
Southwold’s Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Friday 7 December 2012, when visitors and locals alike will be treated to a Victorian-themed evening.  Inspired by Charles Dickens and his 200th birthday celebrations, local traders will open late and are urged to don Victorian dress and decorate their shops and businesses accordingly. The entertainment begins at 7pm, when Father Christmas, led by the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums, will make his way by horse and carriage from Blyth Road to the Market Place. Father Christmas will then join Michael Ladd, Mayor of Southwold, to switch on the lights. The Wrentham Band will then get everyone into the Christmas spirit by putting on a festive performance, giving everyone the chance to join in with their favourite carols. Many members of the Southwold Chamber of Trade will be running special offers during the evening upon sight of a “My Southwold” card.    Reydon hosts its own Christmas lights event on Saturday December 8. During the evening, there will also be carol singing accompanied by Helen Price’s hand-bell ringers, the Reydon Primary School Choir, the Music Vox Choir and a flying visit by Father Christmas.

LAVENHAM - Friday 7 December – Sunday 9 December 2012
Lavenham has a fantastic Christmas Festival weekend planned this year. The official Christmas lights switch-on will be at 6pm on Friday 7 December in the Market Place. All of the shops will be open late and there will be a Christmas Fair in the Market Place from 6-8.30pm. The Christmas Fair continues on Saturday from 10-5pm, with a tantalising selection of festive food, mulled wine and craft stalls.    There will also be a Christmas Tree Festival in the Salvation Hall, a Christmas Craft Exhibition in The Little Hall and a Santa’s Grotto at Lavenham School.  On the Saturday, join in a Lantern Walk around Lavenham at 4.30pm. (Please purchase tickets in advance from Lavenham Tourist Information Centre). Or perhaps you’d like to join in with the Last Night of the Proms in the Village Hall with the Newmarket Town Brass Band. The programme starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10/£5 for under 12s.  

WOODBRIDGE - Woodbridge Christmas Street Fair, Sunday 2 December 2012, 10-4pm. 
The centre of Woodbridge will be transformed into a festive scene with over 100 stalls offering a fantastic range of festive crafts and food. Entertainment includes a brass band playing festive music. Father Christmas arrives by boat Saturday 15 December 2012.  Father Christmas has left his reindeer behind and is visiting Woodbridge by boat this year! High tide should be at 1pm, so make sure you are waiting for Father Christmas on Ferry Quay. His arrival will be accompanied by music, food, stalls and entertainment. (This event is tide-dependent!)    

SNAPE MALTINGS - Cool Yule Festive Market. Sunday 25 November 2012, 10-4pm. 
High-end designers and craftspeople will showcase their unique wares alongside a bounty of festive stalls stacked with unusual Christmas gift ideas, a little bit of vintage and a tempting selection of seasonal food and drink.

2pm Father Christmas Sails into Snape Maltings, Sunday 16 December 2012
Join in the festive fun when Father Christmas arrives at Snape Maltings by (subject to tides/conditions).

Laura Wharton

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