The 20th annual Bedford Christmas Tree Festival was launched this morning (Wednesday) with the Bedford Pipe Band marching into a festive-filled St Paul’s church.
Widow Twanky added to this year’s Panto theme with some magic tricks and jokes, much to the delight of schoolchildren who had just entertained visitors with traditional Christmas carols.
Helen Nellis, Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, officially opened the festival and told the Bedford Independent: “It is always a pleasure to be in this beautiful town centre church. To see it filled with so many trees decorated by a host of community groups, charities, schools and businesses is a real joy and prepares us for the Christmas season.”
Mrs Nellis went on to thank the chairman of the Christmas Tree Festival, Margaret Oakley, and her team for helping to once again raise much-needed funds for the two charities that will benefit from this year’s fundraising: Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends and the renovation of St Paul’s church.
She said: “Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends work tirelessly throughout the year to provide extra facilities and equipment for our hospital.
“St Paul’s historic building has its own ongoing maintenance costs not least the additional heating bills this winter. It is fitting that the Festival income should be shared with this church at the heart of our community.”
The Festival is open daily from 10am – 5pm until Saturday and from 10am – 4pm on Sunday 5 December.
You can find out which choirs are performing throughout the festival at the Bedford Clanger’s what’s on guide here.
Don’t miss this chance to see how decorators have excelled with the panto theme and to vote for your favourite tree. Children will also have fun in the competition to spot pantomime characters hidden among the trees. Entry is £3.00 per person and under 16s are free.
There are still a few tickets left for the atmospheric evening Festival Concert by Minerva Piano Trio playing Mozart, Vivaldi, Ravel and Stravinsky on Friday 3 December 7.30 pm.
It’s also a great chance to see the sparkling trees at night. Tickets are £17.50 and can be purchased by calling 01234 783181 or visit peoplesfundraising.com/concert-tickets