Hailsham: Lights switch-on heralds festive spirit

IT MAY still be November but Hailsham is getting into the festive swing of things with the town’s Christmas lights getting switched on this weekend.

Revellers are set to head to Vicarage Field on Saturday as the fun gets underway from 4.45pm – with a repertoire of seasonal favourites performed by the Wealden Brass Band kicking things off.

The town mayor, Councillor Jeff Bentley-Astor, will then do the honours by flicking the switch and turning on the Christmas tree and town centre lights.

That will be followed by a candle-light carol recital, led by Hailsham Choral Society.

Hailsham Council has decided to install low-energy, eco-friendly LED bulbs in all its festive lighting and all Christmas trees are being snapped up from sustainable forestry sources.

And, in light of this green approach, members of the public are being encouraged to bring along empty glass jars for the candle-lit carol singing, after which the jars will be collected and recycled. Tea light candles and carol sheets will be provided.

Mayor Jeff Bentley-Astor said he hoped as many as possible would make the effort to kick-off the festive season.

He told the Gazette, “Hailsham’s Christmas lights switch-on is one of the town centre’s biggest events throughout the year and the traditional and tasteful entertainment line up means it’s going to be the best yet.

“This year, it’s not only about bringing the community together to celebrate the countdown to Christmas with their friends and family, but making a conscientious effort to incorporate environmental practices into the town’s celebrations.”

Staff from Waitrose will also be on hand to give out mince pies and beverages to the public.

And the festive fun does not stop there. A Dickensian Yuletide Market is taking place in the town centre on December 10 from 3pm and will include a host of stalls selling a local and regional fine food, Christmas gifts, decorations, and cards.

There will also be carol singing from Hailsham Choral Society, the Phoenix Choir and White House Primary School Choir, entertainment from St Mary’s Church Bell Ringers, and a special musical performance from the Wealden Brass Band.