From pantomime capers to a football legend switching on the Christmas lights, this town is ready to embrace the festive spirit
Wimborne Minster starts its festive season on Saturday 24 November, when the town stages its annual Christmas Lights Switch On. There will be entertainment from 10.30am with QE Jazz Band, St James First School Bell Ringers, Viva Voices and many more. At 4pm the town’s Christmas Tree is given a special ‘blessing; and then at 4.30pm AFC Bournemouth manager and former local boy Eddie Howe will press the switch to turn on the wonderful winter wonderland lights.
Looking for a locally made gift? The ‘Dorset Team’ Etsy Made Local Christmas Fair at the Allendale Centre on the
1 & 2 December features the work of over 60 local designers and makers who also sell their wares on Etsy.com. Also, pop into Walford Mill to browse their Christmas at the Mill selling exhibition (until 6 January) which has a vast array of handmade items and unique gifts for sale (walfordmillcrafts.co.uk).
One of Wimborne’s favourite Christmas events, the Great Pudding Stir, takes place at the Priest’s House Museum between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 8 December, the same day as Save the Children Fund Festival of Christmas which includes the Grand Parade featuring around 50 floats together with walking tableaux.
Carols & Capers at the Tivoli Theatre (15 December) features the ‘Queen of Folk’ Maddy Prior and her Carnival Band performing a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar festive songs (tivoliwimborne.co.uk). While Noel! Noel! with Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir at the Great Hall at Canford School on 17 December at 8pm features a blend of familiar carols, readings and close harmony arrangements as well carols sung by village church choirs in Dorset during the 18th and 19th centuries (bschoir.org.uk).
There’s Carols in the Cornmarket at 6pm on 21 December and Radio Wimborne present their Son et Lumiere Christmas themed light show projected on the outside walls of the Minster at 5.30pm and 7pm on 22 December. The following day the Minster has its Service of Nine Lessons and Carols with Wimborne Minster Choir at 6.30pm. The year ends with welcoming in 2019 in the town square with a volley of shots from the Wimborne Militia at midnight.
The cast of Cinderella
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is switching on Wimborne’s lights