Dorchester is set for a cracking night of festive entertainment, as the ever-popular Christmas Cracker returns on Thursday, 8 December. To help get you in the festive mood, visitors can enjoy something to eat and drink while being spectacularly entertained.
The local shops will also be open late for Christmas shopping and staff will be getting into the spirit of the evening.
Family entertainment and music will commence at 6pm, with the Christmas lights being switched on at 6.30pm by special guest and Dorset paralympic gold medal winner Paul Blake at St Peter’s Church. James from Wessex FM will be the compere for the evening and the organisers have also promised a few surprises for revellers.
President of Dorchester Chamber for Business, Steve Bulley, is very much looking forward to Chamber’s annual event. He said: “When times are not as easy as they might be, we all need something to lift our spirits. The lights will be shining above the streets, Christmas music will fill the air, and laughter, the best medicine of all, will be in plentiful supply.”
Also it’s the third year for the Corn Exchange craft fair, which will take place from 4pm-8pm. There’s an eclectic mix of stalls and local produce offering the perfect opportunity to pick up unique gifts for friends and family.
Over on South Street, The Anonymous Travelling Market are back once more providing festive food, drink and extraordinary gifts from 5pm. The market boasts an increasing array of specialist makers and producers from across the West Country.
Paul Blake, winner of Team GB’s 50th gold medal at Rio, will switch on Dorchester’s Christmas lights this year. Dorchester born Paul Blake won gold in the men’s 400m T36 category at the Rio Olympics as well as a silver medal in the 800m.
Dorchester BID chairman, John Fiori says: “It’s fantastic to have someone who has represented Team GB at the Paralympics, we are really glad he agreed to do it.”
The Rock Choir led by the Dorset leader Stacey Hobday will perform in Holy Trinity Church at 6:45pm. Singing and bopping to Christmas songs and their energetic pop, rock and chart repertoire.
Santa will be in the Wessex FM grotto bus from 6:45pm for children to request their Christmas gift wishes. Little ones can also meet and have their picture taken with the Snow Sisters and Snowman who will be close to the Wessex FM bus. They will be accompanied by the one and only swashbuckling Pirate Captain.
Town car parks are free from 4pm (street parking is payable). However, the main town centre will be closed to vehicles from 4:45pm and diversions will be in place.
This year’s event main sponsor is Kingston Maurward.
15:00 Free car parking (road parking must be paid for)
16:00 Corn Exchange Craft Fair opens
16:45 Road closures
17:00 South Street stalls open
18:00 Dorchester Preforming Arts
18:30 Christmas lights switch on at St Peter’s church with stage entertainment after.
18:45 Santa’s free grotto bus outside Lloyds bank
18:45 Rock Choir concert, Holy Trinity Church