Loughborough Community Christmas Tree Festival 2018
The eighth festival closed its doors on Advent Sunday having seen record numbers of well over 3000 visitors during the previous six days. From the official opening by the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire to the closing singalong enjoyed by children and families and friends it was a joyous occasion. The medieval building sparkled with the lights of over 110 trees, some real, some artificial, some constructed from cardboard tubes, others from wood or metal – creativity knew no bounds. The poignancy of this special year of remembrance for WWI was evident through the trees in the war memorials area and also with the representation of a war grave site display.
The range of organisations supporting the event was no less varied from local scouting and girl guiding organisations through businesses and volunteer groups representing all facets of the community.
After over one thousand cups of tea or coffee and hundreds of slices of cake had been enjoyed, more than eight hundred tombola prizes won and a superb raffle successfully drawn, the winning design for this year’s Christmas card was announced and adopted as the Church’s card to be distributed throughout the parish. Well done to Daniel from Cobden School.
We’d seen Santas in from the Fun Run bringing even more festive cheer with them, we’d had visits from groups of students at Ashmount School and the RNIB College, we’d heard the joyful exclamations of wonder from the primary school children from Loughborough C of E and Rendall schools and been privileged to hear the children from St Bartholomew’s School in Quorn entertain us with their Christmas songs and carols.
Other musical entertainment was as varied as the trees including the formal concert given by Loughborough University Choir and Loughborough Male Voice Choir, while informal music offerings came from Anna and her harp thrilling us with her lyrical voice and playing, Eileen with her accordion, Bill and Madeline with their singing, recorder and accordion playing and Charnwood Voices with carols for us all.
As the lights of the trees were extinguished during the quiet evening service of preparation for Advent we could look back on the festival as being once again an occasion for young and old alike to marvel at the lights and joy of the festive season in a community based context.
So while all the organising team and their indefatigable leader draw breath all we can say is ‘Well done everyone, thank you and here’s to next year!’
Photos courtesy of Factor Design - Click on the photos for a larager view.