Arlene Philips to light Alfriston Christmas tree

Arlene Phillips will be joining Father Christmas to light the Christmas tree in Alfriston's Market Square
Arlene Phillips will be joining Father Christmas to light the Christmas tree in Alfriston's Market Square

Arlene Phillips, the popular television star, choreographer and director, will be joining Father Christmas to light the Christmas tree in Alfriston’s Market Square.

The ceremony on Saturday, December 1, will include live music and dance as Arlene prepares to welcome the Yuletide season.

It is just one part of weekend-long celebrations dubbed ‘Joy to the World’. Village merchants are each using a different country as a theme for their decorating and hospitality, with music, food and drink on offer.

Will Emmett, and event organiser, said, “We are thrilled to have Arlene joining us.

“She is talented, charming, generous – and almost as popular as Father Christmas himself, so Arlene is perfect to help Alfriston celebrate!”

Arlene was honoured as a CBE for her services to dance and charity.

The star of Strictly Come Dancing and other well-known shows will be helping light Alfriston’s tree at 5pm.

Before she and Father Christmas switch on the display, visitors can expect live music and a show by local dancers eager to strut their stuff in front of the judge and choreographer.

Shops and pubs will be providing good cheer throughout the evening.

The ‘Joy to the World’ theme encompasses a special raffle prize: A beautiful wooden globe that opens to reveal an alcohol cabinet stocked with drinks from countries around the world (participants must be 18 or older.)

Entry forms are available at Alfriston shops now; an entry ticket – usually costing £5 – is free to people who earn a ‘visa stamp’ at five or more participating merchants.