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Issue 288 – Christmas to kick off in Frome with a Spectacular Sunday

The festive season will be kicking off in Frome this weekend with the annual Spectacular. It is on from 11.00am-6.00pm on Sunday 29th November and this year it will be bigger and better.

“The Spectacular is for families to enjoy together. Last year we aimed the event very much at young families,” said Spectacular chair, cllr Maggy Daniell.
“This year we are extending the range of activities available for older children and teenagers, and there are also many more market stalls and shops opening up, so there should be something for everyone.”
At 12.00 midday Santa’s sleigh will jingle its way from Bridge Street to King Street, onto Bath Street and then down to the Market Yard car park.  Santa’s real live reindeer will be there to meet during the afternoon. 
From 11.00am–5.00pm Catherine Hill will have a special festive air, street entertainment and storytelling. Its artisan market will have more stalls than ever and the food section is so big it is extending into Palmer Street.
In Cheap Street and Catherine Hill, the independent shops will be open for you to discover unusual and special Christmas gifts. 
Westway precinct is once again hosting the town’s charity stalls.  Santa’s grotto has had a makeover by his friends from PAC and is now in a shop by the bridge.  Santa will pay his special Spectacular visit there, and then return on every Saturday in December.
At the Cheese and Grain, the ever-popular Christmas Market will be open from 12.00pm–6.00pm. The town centre will offer lots of festive entertainment in addition to the hub of activity in the Market Yard.
The car park will become a place for family fun and have food outlets on site.  The skate rink and the battling Robogeddon robots, which were so popular last year, will be added to with more fairground rides, including toddlers’ roundabouts, octopus soft play area, a giant inflatable slide and a teenager twizzler. 
An open-air stage with its own compere and dancers will be the focal point for music and a range of entertainment throughout the event. Watch out for the “Stage Struck” children with their extract from Pinocchio, and the Merlin and FAOS Memorial Christmas show previews, together with the melancholic melodic mayhem of acoustic duo Leonardo’s Bicycle’s.
The Youth Council will be running a teenage chill zone in its own dedicated marquee. In a separate marquee, Trinity Schools Association will team up with FROGs to offer Christmas crafts for children to try – and a space where adults can sit down for a cuppa.
Several groups, including the Frome Air Training Corps, will be creating their own displays in support of the Help For Heroes charity.  Military vehicles will provide a backdrop for two giant cards the public can sign, to send Christmas greetings to soldiers in Selly Oak Hospital and Headley Court rehabilitation units. 
Following the runaway success of the Tour of Britain, the cycling theme continues with a bit of a twist, as Cycle Mania Circus runs shows and workshops throughout the afternoon.
At 4.30pm you’ll be able to see the sky lit up. You might think you are seeing UFOs, but it will be children letting magical sky lanterns float up into the sky – another new feature this year.
Around 5.15pm the Advent torchlight procession will leave St. John’s Church and work its way down to join the event. Once again Frome Area Churches Together will lead the community carol singing from the Market Yard stage.
The finale will come at 6.00pm. Mayor of Frome, cllr Damon Hooton will be helped by this year’s winner of the Mayor’s Christmas card competition to turn on the Christmas tree lights, and then the event ends with a splendid fireworks display.