Christmas events coming up in Eastbourne

Neon Noel at Eastbourne Town Hall
Neon Noel at Eastbourne Town Hall

Eastbourne will be aglow with glittering displays this Christmas, from a glowing winter lantern procession to luminous light projections, and a Christmas Market.

Neon Noel, the fabulous animated light display at the town hall, is back – with the first light, music, and lazer show taking place over the weekend of December 1-3.

The second show is scheduled for the following weekend (December 8-10).

Funded by Arndale owners Legal and General, this will be the third year the dusk spectacular has lit up the December skies and put both residents and visitors firmly in the Christmas spirit.

The light show debuts against the backdrop of Little Christmas, with market stalls, food, entertainment and fairground rides in the independent shopping streets of Little Chelsea.

Show organisers, the Eastbourne and District Enterprise Agency Ltd (EDEAL), said the town centre would have a vibrant feel to it.

Christina Ewbank said, “This year, our Christmas market moves into the heart of the town, starting outside Boots in Terminus Road and at The Enterprise Centre.

“There will be 25 wooden chalets housing a wide selection of produce, crafts and unique Christmas gifts,” she said.

The market runs from Saturday, December 9 to Sunday, December 17.

Father Christmas will be in his grotto after 3pm each day of the market, and in residence from 11am during the weekends.

There will be a Stagecoach Vintage Bus running between the Town Hall and the Christmas Market. All the money raised through bus fares will be donated to the RNLI.

Meanwhile, BoHo Winter Light Festival launches the festive season this Saturday (November 18). The procession of children’s handmade lanterns at twilight will signal the start of a glittering season throughout the shopping streets.

Eastbourne town centre will be filled with colourful gifts, mulled wine and home baking aromas at the traditional Christmas Market, running from December 9-17, featuring more than 30 wooden chalets along Terminus Road and at the Enterprise Shopping Centre offering handmade gifts, crafts, jewellery, festive food and Santa’s grotto.

And nearby at Drusillas, the animal-themed Winter Wonderland Illuminations also return for a six week run on Saturday (November 18), with a magical ice-capped kingdom dazzling in a daily show with 50,000 lights animated to music.

Running until January 1, animal fans will also have the opportunity to meet Santa’s reindeer and huskies on selected dates at the award-winning zoo.

And Alfriston unveils a brand new weekend of Christmas festivities with Deck the Halls – A Musical Wonderland from December 1-3.

The three day event features interactive pantomime and live performances throughout the village and its historic shopping streets, with a grand Christmas Tree Lighting by Santa and author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

The Tudor mansion at Michelham Priory plays host to a Tudor Christmas from December 2-3 for a medieval take on Christmas dinner, games and entertainment.

Meanwhile in the Seven Sisters Country Park young adventures can join Winter Magic on December 2 and make nature-inspired Christmas decorations after a wild winter adventure in the woods.

Brand new for 2017, Reindeer Rush on December 9 will see antlered runners in a fun festive 5k dash across Hampden Park with inflatable obstacles along the way, all in aid of St Wilfrid’s.

Also new for this year, Sovereign Shines will bring colourful lighting displays switching on from December 2 with various events, including a Family Fun evening on December 15 featuring Father Christmas arriving by lifeboat.

The big countdown is complete on the 25th when the Bandstand kicks off the UK’s biggest free Christmas Day Concert with Eastbourne Silver Band performing traditional carols and festive hits for thousands of music lovers at 10.30am. Free concerts continue with family favourites on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day too.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “We’re really lighting up the South Coast this year, with more glittering displays than ever before.

“With some great hotel deals and daily theatre events, there is every reason to sneak in a quick Christmas getaway and bring on the festivities before or after the big day!”

More dates for the festive diary include:

· Meads Magic: Friday, November 24

· Motcombe Village Fair: Saturday, December 2

· Dear Santa at the Arndale Centre: every weekend in December

· Dick Whittington and his Cat at the Devonshire Park Theatre: December 8 – January 14

· Breakfast with Santa at the Enterprise Shopping Centre: every weekend December 9-24

· Jingle all the Way at the Royal Hippodrome – every Wednesday until December 13

· The Night Before Christmas at the Royal Hippodrome: December 18-24

· Traditional funfair at the Enterprise Shopping Centre: December 20–31

To book or for more information on Christmas events in Eastbourne visit www.visiteastbourne.com/christmas.