Thick snow coating the ground and a festive chill in the air… the Snow Party truly lived up to it’s name this year! With five events taking place across the town throughout the day, the countdown to Christmas in Sedgefield officially began.
St Edmund’s Church welcomed visitors from 10am as crowds turned up to view the impressive array of trees taking part in this year’s Christmas Tree Festival. A fantastic 35 entries depicted the theme of ‘Christmas Around the World’, with decorations ranging from origami baubles, phrases in different languages, flowers of the world, global brands and even an upside down tree (guess which country that was!). The Mayor’s tree showed Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve, packed with houses created by students at Sedgefield Primary School and Sedgefield Hardwick Primary Academy. You can read more about that here. Congratulations to Sedgefield Players and From Loft to Loved for winning their respective categories!
Not long after, Santa’s Grotto opened its doors. Santa’s most trusted elves had spent days prior carefully building the grotto in Sedgefield Parish Hall’s Fletcher Room, bringing along their very popular life-sized snowmen. The man himself met 84 local children and their families, checking that they were still on the nice list (and that they brushed their teeth every night!) before giving them a small gift and capturing the magic moment with photographs. There were free activities in the main hall including face painting, a bouncy castle and other fun games to keep the children busy while they waited, plus Sedgefield Youth Club’s bake sale in the kitchen selling a range of delicious treats like Christmas tree brownies, snowman marshmallow pops, cookies, cupcakes and lots more.
Santa’s day didn’t end there though, he had a few more stops along the way before he could fly back home.
The Craft Fayre in Ceddesfeld Hall was as popular as ever, with 6 stalls selling Christmas goods and gifts. There was a lovely atmosphere as shoppers browsed the stalls and sat down for much-needed refreshments provided by the Pop-In Club. Our very own Citizen of the Year 2022/23 Wendy Rowley and her team of amazing volunteers put on the most eye-watering spread to warm up those braving the frosty weather.
At 3:45pm, the carol service in St Edmund’s Church began. Surrounded by the beautiful Christmas trees, Lay Minister Michael King and Sedgefield’s Ukulele Band led a wonderful service of carols, a short sermon and a love for all things Christmas. Santa and his Head Elf joined the Mayor of Sedgefield for the service, enjoying the community spirit that Sedgefield is so well-known for.
Once the service concluded, Santa led the parade down to the Turning Circle for the light switch on. Unfortunately the infamous glowing snowmen were unable to attend the parade but it was still magical as the sun began to set (not that we could see it!), Santa greeted everyone gathering round in anticipation and children danced together on the snowy cobbles ready for the main event to start.
After a short speech by the Mayor of Sedgefield, the glow raffle was drawn. Our glow raffle had a whopping 464 entries this year, with raffle tickets purchased through schools and the council office. After the first draw wasn’t claimed, our winner was announced! Congratulations to Isaac Weightman (Y4) for winning the raffle and switching on the town’s Christmas lights. We hope you and your family enjoy your selection box and Beamish Unlimited Family Pass!
We hope you all had a fantastic time and we look forward to another successful event next year!