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
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
“But we’re still absolutely determined to have a great time
and give a hearty Llangollen welcome to Christmas by celebrating the season in
“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."