Spectacular line up of seasonal festive activities

Talented Ella Shaw

Talented Ella Shaw

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Clitheroe is gearing itself up for a series of spectacular festive events in the run-up to Christmas.

Clitheroe Market and the Platform Gallery will host a festive extravaganza and lights switch-on called Northern Star thanks to a £5,000 boost from Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Some of the best craftmakers in the North-West look set to take part in the event at Clitheroe Market on four consecutive Saturdays from November 26th and the Platform Gallery until January 7th.

Clitheroe Market Northern Star includes a celebrity Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday, November 26th, by songstress and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ella Shaw, as well as a host of festive fun, including performances by local choirs, roast chestnuts and a visit by Father Christmas.

Platform Galley Northern Star will feature unique work from more than 100 artists and makers from across the UK, including jewellery, ceramics and textiles.

Heather Coar, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, said: “We are going all-out to ensure Clitheroe is the place to be for festive shoppers this Christmas.

“We are inviting them to forget the hustle and bustle of the city, and come to Clitheroe for a unique shopping experience among some of the best craft makers and award-winning independent shops in the North-West.”

Meanwhile, Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and Commerce will stage its Christmas Festival throughout the town starting on Saturday, December 3rd. The event will begin with Father Christmas arriving by train before greeting children in his seasonal grotto, which this year is at the United Reformed Church, in Moor Lane.

Building on the success of previous Christmas festivals run by the chamber, there will be stalls throughout the town manned by local Brownie packs, Clitheroe Lions, Baker Girl, Sweet Designs, Dough Pizza Company and Bonnie’s Bits and Bobs.

To keep shoppers entertained the choir of St Mary’s School, Langho, will take centre stage and hit the high notes with carols at 11am. Talented members of the Clitheroe Ukulele Band will be performing at lunchtime in the Rose and Crown on Castle Street, and in the afternoon Blackburn-based contemporary Jazz and Swing musician, Arthur Geldard, will be providing entertainment, as well as music from Clitheroe Town band.

A spokesman for Clitheroe Chamber said: “In the Swan Courtyard, several businesses will be creating a crafty courtyard offering child-friendly activities for younger children and as in previous years there will be donkeys available for children to ride and later in the afternoon the much loved walking Nativity will take place when the donkeys will carry Mary and Joseph in a procession involving local churches through the town to the Crib at the Castle gates.

“There will be plenty of Christmas spirit as this year the town will be lit up by 120 fibre optic Christmas trees in association with Clitheroe Town Council.

“In addition, the annual best dressed shop front competition will be judged whilst events will take place around the town so no corner should be missed.”