A scaled-down version of the town’s annual Christmas festival taking account of ongoing pandemic safety measures will be staged this afternoon (Saturday).
Organisers say their aim is to help get people into the festive spirit while avoiding large crowds gathering.
Instead of the usual parade to kick off the event, this year’s more modest Celebration of Christmas will centre on a programme of top-class entertainment in Centenary Square.
The highlight of the afternoon’s activities, which start at 2pm, will come at 5pm with the ceremonial switching on of the Christmas lights along Castle Street by Sion Corn - the Welsh Father Christmas - and end with a bang as proceedings are rounded off in traditional style with a spectacular firework display launched from the hillside overlooking the town.
Taking the stage in a Christmas gazebo on the square during the afternoon will be talented performers from the Young ‘Uns, the junior section of Llangollen Operatic Society, who will give a taste of their smash-hit musical Little Shop of Horrors which is due to open at the Town Hall next February.
Also helping to provide a true seasonal feel with a rousing selection of Christmas music will be Llangollen Silver Band.
Llangollen’s own Wandering Minstrel, Chris Burton, will belt out a string of popular sing-along hits throughout the afternoon and there will be solo spots from Leonie Kirby and the Melodics Choral Group plus Karl Joseph.
At 3pm Sion Corn, in his traditional green and white robes, will make an appearance in Centenary Square.
Town Mayor, Cllr Austin Cheminais, who chairs the Christmas Festival Committee, explained that despite its less ambitious scale, the event was still intended to help get people in festive mood.
He said: “Last year, given the pandemic, we had no alternative but to cancel the festival entirely and with Covid-19 still very much in the background, we reluctantly decided to limit the size of this year’s event.
“But we’re still absolutely determined to have a great time and give a hearty Llangollen welcome to Christmas by celebrating the season in style.
“We have some fantastic performers lined up for our concert on the square. I’ll be switching on the amazing Christmas lights and, as usual, the team which puts on the firework display will be pulling out all the stops to end the day with a colourful flourish.”
Once again this year the festival committee is hosting its popular Christmas Scarecrow Trail.
Throughout December they are encouraging people to come up with some creative and colourful entries.
It was held last year and even during the pandemic it managed to attract over 50 inventive entries from all parts of the town.
Cllr Cheminais said: "I knew of 40 locations on the list and there were a lot more out there that I didn't know about.
"I’m hoping to get even more this year as I know how incredibly creative Llangollen people are.
"Santa and his elves will judge the competition in the week leading up to Christmas, and there are two main prizes of £25 plus five runners-up prizes of £10.
"People can help choose the winner by sending a picture of their favourite to: firstname.lastname@example.org."
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