Christmas (Spectacular) is coming

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Father Christmas with sleigh and reindeer in a previous year

Christmas is getting closer as December starts tomorrow, Saturday December 1, and there is only a week to go until Rye’s Christmas Festival on Saturday December 8 from 11 a.m until late.

This year’s theme is “A Winter Carnival Spectacular” and full details can be found on the website  and in the £1 programme available around town.

The festive lights have been going up around the town’s shops and offices and, when lit up at night, they add to the magic of Rye’s old fashioned lamp-posts which give the town a historic gaslight look.

But the town is also still a port (though a shadow of when it was the country’s fourth largest port in the Middle Ages/Tudor times) and the tide is in our favour this year. So Father Christmas will be arriving by boat at Strand Quay at 10.30 a.m before heading for his grotto in St Mary’s Centre (possibly fully booked up by now) at the top of Lion Street – though Mother Christmas can also be found at her usual haunt in Old Borough Arms near Strand Quay.

The procession, from the station at 4:30pm, also features Father Christmas and the festivities include the Community Carol Concert at St Mary’s Norman church behind the Town Hall from 6pm – but get there early. Can be packed!

In previous years carol singers have left the church with a touch of Hollywood as snow flakes drift through the air past the historic houses – often featured on TV and in films.

Other attractions include

  • a pantomime in Rye Community Centre on Conduit Hill at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm;
  • Xmas pudding races and tug of war in the High Street at 2.15 pm;
  • Christmas Train trips round the town;
  • performers from 11 am at the busking stages by The George, at Rye Lodge and in East Street
  • as well as street performers around the town;
  • and story telling in the library.

For more details, a map and special offers, get yourself a programme – which lists 14 events and venues around Rye – and have a great day.

And, if you get lost or confused, there will be an information centre by St Mary’s Centre and the Kino Cinema opposite the 18th century Town Hall.

Image Credits: Rye News library.

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