Putting magic back into Xmas


“We want to put the magic back into Christmas in Rye.” – Jen Sinclair, Co-Organiser

Anyone who has visited Rye for it’s Christmas event in the past few years will have stumbled into a confusing, lacklustre jumble of mini events, randomly dotted along the High Street. Father Christmas would arrive by boat at Strand Quay, bringing a brief moment of festive joy.

Then the crowds would disperse. Tiny groups of hopeful spectators would be left bumbling around a Christmas light-less Rye. The question “Is that it, or is there more going on further down the Street?” would drift through the air like snowflakes, as if the disappointment had been frozen by the cold of December.

Fast forward to Christmas 2015.
Great Expectations: A Dickensian Christmas in Rye.
Goodbye to Christmas Past.


Eight reasons this year’s Dickensian Christmas
will be the best in years:

1: Mother Christmas’ Grotto, The Old Borough Arms, Mermaid Street
“Behind every great man is a great woman.”
Puh- lease! Tired of being the quiet partner in this relationship, Mother Christmas has decided it’s time to broaden her horizons, get out of the North Pole and open a Grotto in sought after Rye. I caught up with her, on her site visit to Rye and she had this to say:

‘You better watch out you better not cry cause jolly Mrs Christmas is coming to Rye.
You can visit my elves and have a cookie too, whilst I jot down a Christmas list just for you.
Wrap up warm and be good children, cause this little meeting is one in a million.
So come to my grotto and sit with me, come one and all with you family!” – Mrs Christmas

2: The event has been created by a self assembled group of volunteers.
I respect anyone who tries to make a change, instead of just complaining about something. The organising team have worked hard to secure donations from local businesses and individuals, in order to provide a Christmas Rye can be proud of.
Show your support by buying a ticket to fundraising competition “Rye’s Got Talent” on October, 23, hosted by the spangletastic, bearded wonder woman Timberlina. Tickets HERE


3: It’s co- organised by an award winning event stylist
Co-organiser Jen specialises in creating atmosphere. Quintessential Christmassy scents, tastes, sights and sounds have all been planned to make this day a “multi sensory experience”. Describing herself as a set designer, event and photoshoot stylist, Jen has a knack for creating magical spaces and fun places (two examples below). Her company Bellaboo and Beau won the Wedding Industry Awards Best Venue Stylist 2015.



4: Ice Rink. Cinque Ports car park 10am-6pm. £8 per skater. 1/2 hour sessions
The main attraction will be on Cinque Ports Street . . . an ice rink has been confirmed for the car park. How wonderfully old fashioned and dreamily Christmassy.

5: Eddie Franks Christmas pudding race
Come and laugh at competing local teams racing, holding a Christmas Pudding on a spoon. I’m expecting a “Dad’s Race” on sports day kind of vibe.

christmas race

6: Bucking reindeer ride, The Strand traditional Christmas market 10am – 6pm
We’ve all seen a bucking bronco ride, haven’t we. You’ve probably ridden one as well, haven’t you, ya crazy so and sos?.
 Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show off after a mulled wine or two.
 A bucking reindeer ride. Yeeeeeeee-ho-ho-ho.


7: Real reindeer, Father Christmas’s procession 5:15pm, Rye train station
Did you know that reindeer’s ankles click when they walk, so they don’t lose each other in blizzards. I can’t handle the cuteness. Father Christmas will be in town with his beautiful, clicking, real life reindeer for us all to go gooey over.


8: Carol concert finale, 6:15pm St Mary’s Church
Put that mulled wine to good use and belt out a few of your favourite carols, in the grand and spiritual St Mary’s, Church. The place is awesome, in the old fashioned sense of the word.

St Mary's at Christmas
St Mary’s at Christmas


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Main image: Richard Adams

Image Credits: K. Bird .

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