The businesses of South Street and Grove Road are once again getting festive with their annual Little Christmas event.
The event, organised by the Little Chelsea Traders Association, will this year be held on the evening of December 7.
The shops will open late on the day and will be offering festive fare such as hot chestnuts , mince pies and mulled wine. The two streets are filled with independent traders and many will be offering special offers to entice customers on the night.
Mike Reid, from Reid and Dean estate agents in South Street will be dressing up as an elf with his staff and selling hot chestnuts to visitors.
He has helped organise the event for the last four years and says it a great way for all the traders to get in to the Christmas spirit.
Mike said, “I have got my elf costume hanging up ready.
“I really like Little Christmas because it is the most sociable event of the year.
““We do more in an hour selling hot chestnuts in an hour than we do selling houses. The hot chestnuts are so popular.”
Father Christmas has got a new grotto this year which will be outside Reid and Dean.
Santa will have his little helpers with him and his reindeer, which are always a star attraction for the town’s youngsters. Children will have their visit to Father Christmas transformed as they have the chance to get close to his reindeer.
Christmas lights will be turned on in the area and there will be snow machines and choirs filling the air with festive tunes.
The entertainment includes the Phoenix Choir, Kingfishers Scout Band as well as the Long Man Morris Dancer.
The Little Christmas event aims to introduce shoppers to the array of independent shops in the area and help them get ready for the festive season. Deck the Halls in South Street will be offering people the chance to order locally sourced Christmas trees on the night. There will also be a bustling street market full of Christmas goodies.
Mike Reid said, “The event is aimed at getting people in to the area and showing them what shops we have to offer.
“It is amazing, but some people don’t even know we are here so.
Mike explained Little Chelsea had a lot to offer the Christmas shopper.
He said, “The shops in Little Chelsea are nearly all full at the moment.
“I think there are only two empty shops in South Street.
“We as a firm are running out of shops to sell in the town centre.”
The traders hope to be able to donate a proportion of the proceeds from the event to local charities. In the past money raised from Little Christmas has supported a number of local causes including St Wilfrid’s, The Red Cross, which has a shop in Little Chelsea, and the WRVS. Organisers are not yet sure which charity will benefit from any proceeds this year.
The event will be held from 5pm to 10pm.