The date has been set, Santa’s been told and the magic will happen again for this year’s Christmas Cracker on Thursday 6 December.
This year, a certain bear from darkest Peru will be taking the train from Paddington Station and with his tummy full of marmalade sandwiches, he will take to the main stage outside St Peter’s Church to press the magic button and turn on Dorchester’s Christmas lights at 6.30pm.
The churches in High West Street will open their doors from 5pm with a carol service in St Peter’s, and the Rock Choir will perform again in Holy Trinity. Both churches will be serving mulled wine and mince pies.
There will be a lantern parade from 5:45pm from Brewery Square with children carrying lanterns they have made in workshops. The parade will be led by our own champion Town Crier, Alistair Chisholm.
There will be a special Victorian Christmas taking place in Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in High West Street, with mulled wine and mince pies available from the Shire Hall Cafe, and the New Hardy Players singing carols in Victorian costume. Santa will be holding court from 4pm, judging children’s performance over the year and giving out presents to those that have been good.
There will be plenty of other entertainment throughout the evening to celebrate the official start of Christmas in Dorchester.
The craft fair will be in the Corn Exchange from 4pm to 8pm. Discover that ideal Christmas gift from the range of finest crafts, home accessories, jewellery, clothing and home-made items on display from selected local traders.
High West Street will be closed from 5.45pm but the town’s main car parks will only be free from 6pm as normal – not 4pm, as on previous Cracker nights. On-street parking will have to be paid for.
At Brewery Square the fun and games get under way at 4pm with a brass band, a special guest singer, the London Gospel Choir and a Father Christmas disco.
Meanwhile to celebrate the return of Skating In The Square, Brewery Square is putting on a host of live music, performances and entertainment, as well as a Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday 24 November. Visitors can enjoy late-night shopping, Skating in the Square, mulled wine, chestnuts, a visit to Santa’s Grotto and more.
This Christmas, children can write letters to Father Christmas for free at Brewery Square. Pick up a template letter from Skating in the Square and return via the Brewery Square Santa Mail postbox. Letter-writing will run from 24 November to 16 December when the skating is open.