The countdown to Christmas is on and a number of free events organised by Rushmoor Borough Council will be sprinkling Christmas magic over Aldershot and Farnborough throughout November and December.
Christmas starts in Aldershot town centre on Saturday 18 November, with the Aldershot Christmas Cracker.
The fun starts at midday when the town centre will be packed full of festive stalls to browse and free family activities to enjoy, plus live performances from local bands, choirs, and dance schools. Visitors can look out for the giant snow globe, have fun with bubbles, meet the festive donkeys and visit Father Christmas in his grotto.
The highlight of the day will be the countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on, which will take place in Princes Gardens from 5.15pm, including a short firework display and even a dusting of snow! The event has been organised by the council, with the help of Aldershot Community Together, a group of residents and volunteers who work with the council on projects for the town.
A brand-new event for this year, is the Festive Craft Fayre at Southwood Country Park on Sunday 19 November from 10am to 3pm. Local crafters will be setting up in the field centre, just next to the café and children can enjoy the fantastic new play area.
Next in the diary, is the Farnborough Frost Fair which will be taking place in Farnborough town centre on Saturday 25 November from 10am to 3.30pm. The Frost Fair welcomes around 40 stallholders who will be setting up along Queensmead offering gifts, local food and drink, handmade jewellery, and all sorts of Christmas gifts.
As well as lots more free family activities, there will be a stage with a programme packed full of festive performances. There will also be fun fair rides and a chance to meet some beautiful birds of prey. Visitors can look out for the walkabout street theatre and circus performers, visit Father Christmas in his grotto and soak up the festive atmosphere. The event also coincides with the switching on of the Christmas lights at the Princes Mead shopping centre with lots more activities going on inside the centre.
Other events in the packed calendar include the Farnborough Christmas Craft Fayre on Saturday 2 December in Queensmead from 9am to 4pm.
The popular North Town carol concert will be taking place on Wednesday 13 December from 6.30pm on the green by Waggoners Walk. Everyone is welcome and there will be free refreshments and Christmas crafts for children and a special visit from Father Christmas.
Aldershot’s Christmas Craft Fayre will be taking place in the warmth of The Wellington shopping centre on Saturday 16 December from 10am to 3pm and local band, Cactus Brass will be performing.
The final event of the year will be a magical evening of Christmas carols by lantern light in Aldershot town centre on Saturday 16 December from 5.30pm until 7pm at the community bandstand in Princes Gardens hosted by Aldershot Churches Together. Anyone who would like to make a lantern to bring along with them can look out for a special stall at the Aldershot Christmas craft fayre earlier in the day (from 10.30am to 2.30pm).
Councillor Gareth Lyon, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy at Rushmoor Borough Council said: "Christmas can be a very expensive time, so I am really pleased that we have such a packed calendar of free festive events for our residents to enjoy, with something happening almost every weekend until Christmas.”
Details of all the council’s festive events are available on our arts and events pages.