A giant twinkling tree, a visit from Santa and a horde of racing elves – Christmas officially gets underway in Battle tonight.
Santa Claus is coming to town today (Friday, November 27) for the big Christmas lights switch-on.
There will be carol singing by the Christmas tree in front of Battle Abbey from 5pm, with Santa doing the honours and lighting up the town at 6.30pm.
The spotlight falls on Santa’s little helpers at 6.45pm, with the inaugural 0.4km Elf Dash around the Abbey Green.
Delia Hayes, from the Battle Chamber of Commerce, explained: “Elves are, of course, Santa’s trusty helpers, but ELF also stands for Every Last Friday, a successful Battle initiative to fill the hostelries and restaurants of the town with great music and entertainment on the last Friday evening of every month.
“Friday 27 will be the last Friday of November and it promises to launch Battle’s Christmas celebrations in truly festive fashion.”
It costs £5 to enter, which will also get runners a suitably festive elf hat to wear for the race, available from The Bull Inn, Mrs Burton’s Tea Rooms, The Abbey Hotel, Nobles Restaurant and The King’s Head.
There will be a prize for the best-dressed elf with a mince pie for the finishers, plus a carrot for Rudolph and his friends.
Children over five can enter a shorter dash, subject to the registration form being signed by a parent or guardian when they buy their elf hat.
Children under nine must have a responsible adult accompanying them.
All children who enter can have a go at the Christmas Lucky Dip instead of a mince pie – but rest assured they will still get their carrot.
And the festive fun doesn’t stop there.
Tomorrow (Saturday, November 28), there will be free parking in Battle’s car parks as visitors flock to the town to witness Battle Town Band leading Santa’s parade down the High Street at 1.50pm.
Santa will have time to meet around 200 children in his grotto in Battle Memorial Hall during the course of the afternoon.
Tickets to see Santa and receive a gift will be available on the door from 2pm at £1.50 per child.
Upstairs in the Wynne Room of the Memorial Hall, there will be a charity market running from 2pm-4.30pm and, in the Shepherd Room, refreshments will be served by the Saxonwood WI.
There will be plenty of family fun on the Abbey Green until it gets dark and when Santa has climbed back in his sleigh and waved the children farewell, Lucy Ashton will lead everyone in a special goodnight carol under the big Christmas tree.
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