Festive cheer at the Bishop Auckland Town Council Christmas Event
Bishop Auckland Town Council, together with St Anne’s Church, The Auckland Project, Advent Windows and the Town Hall, organised the town’s celebrations to mark the beginning of the festive period. The weather played its part by supplying snowfall the previous evening making the Market Place look very Christmassy.
The whole event was in danger of being cancelled because of the icy conditions, but Durham County Council’s Green and Clean team came to the rescue doing a fantastic job in clearing the market place.
The event was opened by the Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, who blessed the celebrations and the 1,000 plus strong crowd. Children from local schools led Christmas carols from the stage.
The first of the town’s advent windows was unveiled at the Town Hall by the Mayor, Adam Zair. This year Advent Windows in association with the Town Team have obtained funding to hold an advent window project in the town centre. Twenty four businesses have joined with twenty four local schools to turn the town centre into a giant living advent calendar. Each day throughout December until Christmas Eve a window is to be unveiled, which has been decorated by a local school on the theme of a Christmas carol or song.
The first window, located in the Town Hall, was decorated by children from Woodhouse Primary School who sung ‘Now Light One Thousand Christmas Lights’ as their artwork was unveiled.
To coincide with the theme of 1,000 lights St Anne’s Church, in conjunction with The Auckland Project had created lantern templates which had been distributed to local schools for them to decorate and bring along to the event.
Santa Claus’ sleigh broke down on the way to the event, but the Police Interceptors came to the rescue by delivering him to the Town Hall with blue lights flashing and sirens sounding just in time for him to turn on the Christmas tree lights.
The event also included performances from Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast and Friends’ a Santa’s grotto, children’s fairground rides and street food.
The Mayor of Bishop Auckland said:
“The event worked really well and I am particularly pleased by the way the community organisations worked together to make this a lovely festive evening for everyone.”