Hundreds of residents and shoppers joined in Epsom’s Christmas lights switch on event at the Market Place yesterday, Thursday 20 November. With a little help from Santa, the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Robert Foote and local resident Lara Mcnamme, switched on the Christmas Tree and Clock Tower lights at the Market Place at 7pm followed by a fireworks finale at 8pm.
For one night only, Santa took residence in the Grotto in the Clock Tower to the delight of hundreds of children who queued up to meet him, receive a candy cane and capture the memory with a photograph. Entrance to Santa's Grotto, which was sponsored by The Best of Epsom, was free with a donation to Moment-um, a local charity raising funds for a fully equipped play room for long stay children at the Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital. Staff from Santander supported the charity during the evening and will match funds raised on the night.
There was also plenty of family entertainment on offer throughout the evening: live music from Barcoda Party Band Set; performances by Evie Cohen, Bollyrobics and a Rock Choir; a giant Snow Globe with free pictures for a donation to charity Moment-um and a Soft Play Party Bus for younger children for a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Elves from Santa Claus and the Magical Christmas Journey at the Epsom Playhouse and more elves on stilts sponsored by Elements got everybody into the festive mood. Stalls selling festive food and treats, face painting, balloons and children's fairground rides including a giant Ferris Wheel proved to be popular attractions. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display sponsored by The Ashley Centre.
Charity Guide Dogs for the Blind raised funds for the evening with face painting. Local businesses joined in the festive fun - Hamptons Estate agents ran a guess the local house price competition to win a hamper full of Christmas goodies; Nandos, Blacks Burgers and Starbucks provided free samples from their menus; Dolly Goes Dancing offered mini ‘Frozen’ themed makeovers; The Canopy restaurant, Café Picola, Epsom Bakehouse and regular Market Trader Joe Bates offered yummy treats and fun Christmas gifts. The Scouts sold handmade bird boxes and Tadworth Chidlrens Trust promoted their upcoming Christmas fayre. The Longmead Centre was also present selling mulled wine.
The Council would like to thank The Best of Epsom for sponsoring Santa's Grotto; Hayley Dyer for the Grotto decorations; our partners for Christmas in Epsom - The Ashley Centre for the amazing fireworks finale and What's On In Epsom for organising the Upper High Christmas Shopping Evening on Friday 21 November and the Mayor's Charity Family Fun Race Day on Sunday 23 November and all the various local businesses that are taking part in the festive weekend.
Christmas festivities continue across Epsom & Ewell:
Saturday 22 November, 12 noon onwards: Drop into The Ashley Centre for free yuletide children’s entertainment and free face painting followed by Christmas lights switch-on show with the cast of this year’s panto at Epsom Playhouse, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at 5pm and a chance to meet Santa.
Sunday 23 November, 10.30am-4.30pm: Mayor's Charities Family Fun Race Day, The Market Place: Enjoy family races and competitions at The Market Place including a Pantomime Horse dash and entertainment from Surrey Hills Radio Roadshow and Laine Theatre Arts Choir. The races are sponsored by Epsom Downs Racecourse, Hobbledown and Epsom Playhouse. The Ashley Centre will also host free craft workshops and free face painting. For information on race times and for an entry form email - email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/whatsoninepsom
Friday 28 November, 4pm - 7pm: Ewell Yule, Ewell Village: Festive festivities are the core of this year’s celebrations. There will be carolling, games, traditional entertainment and, due to popular demand, the Ewell Village retailers treasure trail is back!
Friday 5 December, 4pm - 7pm: Lights on Broadway, Stoneleigh Broadway: A Town Crier will welcome everyone to a guaranteed snowy Stoneleigh Broadway and, as well as music and dancing, there will be food and gift stalls, Punch & Judy in the Trix Café and Father Christmas himself will be in the Scout shop. There’s even going to be some mini fun fair rides!
Saturday 20 December, 10am - 12 noon: Christmas songs and carols in The Ashley Centre: Join the Mayor, Chris Grayling MP, Santa and other members of our community for carols and songs with a collection for the Mayor’s charities.
Saturday 13 December- Sunday 4 January: Wizard of Oz panto, Epsom Playhouse: Follow the yellow brick road to the Epsom Playhouse to see legendary children’s entertainer Dave Benson Phillips starring as the scarecrow in this year’s pantomime the Wizard of Oz. One thing’s for certain, we’re not in Epsom anymore! Tickets available now from the box office on 01372 742555/742227 or at www.epsomplayhouse.co.uk
Sunday 21 December, 2pm: Bethlehem Peace Light, The Market Place, Epsom: Everyone is invited to welcome the Peace Light from Bethlehem at the Market Place in Epsom. A short multi-faith service is organised in partnership with the 7th Epsom Methodist Scout Group, Churches Together in Epsom, the Hindu Community of Epsom and Ewell, the Baha’i Community of Epsom and Ewell and the Borough Council.
Free parking on Sundays in the run up to Christmas in central Epsom Council run car parks: To support local traders and help residents with Christmas shopping, parking in - the Ashley Centre, Town Hall, Hope Lodge, Depot Road and Upper High Street car parks will be free on the five Sundays in the run up to Christmas – 23 & 30 November, 7, 14 & 21 December. Car parks in Ewell and Stoneleigh are free every Sunday throughout the year.
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Information and pictures from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council