St Albans Christmas lights to start festive season off in style

PUBLISHED: 09:41 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

THE countdown to Christmas gets properly underway this weekend, with the biggest event in St Albans festive calendar the Christmas market and lights switch-on this Sunday. The fun lasts from 10am-5.30pm and promises to be a spectacular event for all the

THE countdown to Christmas gets properly underway this weekend, with the biggest event in St Albans' festive calendar the Christmas market and lights switch-on this Sunday.

The fun lasts from 10am-5.30pm and promises to be a spectacular event for all the family.

Highlights include a kids' funfair from noon, and stage show from 2pm, featuring Elvis Shmelvis, the Ricky Lopez Ratpack and Swing Show, the St Albans Rock Choir and the stars of the Alban Arena panto. The lights will be switched on at 5.30pm, so make sure you don't miss any of the fun.

The following weekend in Harpenden, the annual Christmas Carnival will parade through the town on Sunday November 22, with carol singers, community groups and schoolchildren taking part in the fun, which is organised by local volunteers and members of the town council and Rotary Club.

Despite an already packed diary, Father Christmas will be finding time in his busy schedule to hand out presents to children, with the festive lights switched on at 4.30pm.

You can also visit Santa in his spectacular grotto at Willows Farm Village in London Colney and visit his toyshop to pick out your own present. Visitors can join in with the live nativity, hop on the Magic Wood Ride, enter the Elves' House and see the reindeer throughout the Christmas period from 9.30am-5.30pm every day until December 24.

With the winter nights drawing in, Christmas lights are a welcome sight across the district, with other switch-ons occurring in London Colney at 5.30pm for 6pm by the Millennium Clock on Friday November 27, and in Southdown shopping area the same night at 6pm.

Away from the bright lights and shopping events, the true meaning of Christmas is also being celebrated across the district. Sandringham School will be holding their annual Christmas Concert in the Sandpit Theatre on December 2 from 7pm, offering a musical start to the festive period, and the Mosaic Chamber Choir will be performing Christmas carols on December 5 at St Peter's Church in St Albans.

Other Christmas celebrations are taking place at Marlborough Road Methodist Church in St Albans on December 6, with a performance by St Albans Choral Society at 7pm, and at 7.30pm on December 9 at High Street Methodist Church in Harpenden, when children from local schools will be performing in a special Rotary Club concert.

One of the highlights of the festive season are the family carol concerts at St Albans cathedral on December 12 at 3pm and 7pm, with support from St Albans Bach Choir and Alberti Brass.

Elsewhere, Hertfordshire Philharmonia presents a concert of seasonal music and carols at St Savour's Church, Sandpit Lane, with carols by candlelight on December 12 from 7.30pm.

The mayor's carol concert is taking place at 4pm on December 14 outside the Alban Arena, followed by refreshments in the council chamber, and there will be carols on the hour at the cathedral on December 19 from 11am to 4pm.

Harpenden Choral Society will be performing their carol concert at High Street Methodist Church from 7.30pm on December 22, and the Lea Singers will be performing their Christmas concert at Harpenden Public Halls on December 23 from 5pm.

Of course there will be Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day services at churches across the district between December 24-26. Contact your local church for details.

Above all, Christmas is for the children, and to apart from the prospect of stacks of presents, there's plenty of entertainment to keep them amused. Family pantomime The Little Mermaid will be at the Alban Arena until January 3, Treasure Island will be on stage at the Abbey Theatre until January 2, Jack and the Beanstalk comes to Harpenden Public Halls until December 20, family Christmas show Giraffes Can't Dance! will be at Trestle Arts Base until December 23, and Aladdin and his Magic Lamp will be running at the Maltings Arts Theatre until December 28.

Of course, these are just some of the exciting events taking place across the district over the festive period, and we simply don't have space to list them all here, so make sure you check out future editions of the Herts Advertiser for more information, or visit the St Albans Tourist Information Office in the Town Hall.

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