A new Christmas Village is set to deliver festive cheer in Ellesmere Port town centre.
Organisers Stephanie Hughes and Rob Jones of Second Skin Events have revealed the village will spring to life on Wednesday November 30 on the civic square.
There will be 44 chalets across the square with ‘retailers of the finest quality and aromas of roasted hog and mulled wines filling the air’.
The launch celebration includes the town’s popular lantern parade. Mayor Peter Rooney will be making a special appearance to switch on the Christmas lights and Santa is expected to make time to join in the magical event.
The village is said to have been designed in the style of traditional and much loved Christmas markets across the globe. The first of its kind to be seen in the town it will run until December 22.
Stephanie said “Christmas Markets make such an impact on so many towns and cities with businesses, residents and visitors all joining together to celebrate in the spirit of the festivities.
“We wanted to bring Christmas and all its cheer a little closer to home this year as well as complementing the existing local retailers’ offerings as we want to see Ellesmere Port thrive”.
Bavarian sausages and mulled wines will be on sale at the village which will also feature a Santa’s Grotto in support of Claire House children’s hospice.
“What could be better at this time of caring than families and children supporting other families and children in need,” added Stephanie.
Family tickets and advance booking are available for the grotto with advance booking enabling gifts to be personally selected for the youngsters to suit their age. A separate ‘Golden Santa’ magazine competition will see lucky £500 winners in a draw on December 16.
On the launch day the village will open at 10am with the grotto open from 11am to 4pm. Much loved children’s characters will throng the village at the ready for pictures before the lantern walkers set off at 5.30pm. The big lights switch on is at 6pm.
Mixed views arose over the prospect of a Christmas Village on the square with some market traders fearing the attraction would have a detrimental effect on stallholders open throughout the year. They also said they had not been consulted.
Social media included views in favour of the attraction and it is understood concerns were eased following discussions between the organisers and the market traders with assurances offered. Secondskin said: “We have the site for the next three years and will be investing to ensure the new market is a huge success.”