Bringing festive joy to Rye

A mock-up of Rye's Christmas lights
A mock-up of Rye's Christmas lights

Christmas officially starts on Saturday (December 12) in Rye as the town lights up for the festive season.

There will be a large gathering in the High Street from 5.15pm as the lights are turned on outside The George.

There will be street performances in the Strand car park throughout the day, including song, dance, choirs, poetry and more.

St Mary’s Church is also playing host to a carol concert from 6.15pm.

Earlier in the day, Father Christmas arrives at Strand Quay from 11am, with a little help from Rye RNLI.

Jenny Sinclair, one of the main organisers, said: “Our intention was to bring back some of the spirit that used to reside in Rye at Christmas time.

“Those who experienced Christmas past in Rye will remember the buzz throughout the town.

“The laughter and dancing, carol singers on the corners, traders opening their doors to welcome you in out for the cold for mince pies and festive cheer. The general feeling of joy and generosity would draw you in. In a word it was magical and a great town to both grow up in as a child and remain in as an adult.

“Christmas present, we hope, will be full of all of the joys of Christmas again. The sights, sounds and smells to take you back to a time gone by.

“With the High Street closed throughout the day, people are free to roam the streets, sample street food, carry out shopping or listen to the music and other performances through the town.

“There are exhibitions to attend. Rye Baptist Church will be full of Christmas trees from our competition, as well as all of the entries to our poetry competition. The Strand will be home to Mother Christmas, the ice rink, the Christmas Market and the arrival of Father Christmas.”

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