Wheathampstead prepares for fourth annual Christmas Lights Up event

ABOUT one thousand visitors are expected to attend Wheathampstead’s fourth annual Christmas “Lights Up” and family evening next Thursday, November 25.

While the High Street will be closed between 5pm and 8pm to create space for a wide range of fairground attractions, its shops will remain open until 8pm. Santa will arrive by sleigh at about 6pm to greet visitors young and old outside the village cafe T Potts. Christmas lights will be ceremoniously switched on just after 6pm.

Entertainment includes carol singers, a “mystery” rock singer and there will surprises for all age groups.

The famous bearded one will also announce winners and runners-up of a poster competition publicising the event which has attracted about 100 entries from children aged between five and 11 years of age

Pupils from Beech Hyde, St Helen’s and St Albans High School for Girls have been battling it out in the poster design contest to promote the Christmas lights ceremony. Prizes include a family meal for four and tickets to see the Alban Arena pantomime Peter Pan. A selection of poster designs from all three schools will be displayed in the village on November 25.

David Johnson, chairman of the Wheathampstead Traders Association (WEB), organisers of the event, said: “Last year we had over 500 village residents and friends joining our ceremony. This year the word has spread and we expect over 1,000 [visitors], so to make space and keep it safe we have closed the High Street for three hours.”

East Lane and the public car park behind The Bull will be open.

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Christmas goodies will be on offer throughout Wheathampstead, and T Potts will be serving mulled wine and enormous mince pies.