VICTORIAN EVENING 2017: There’s no “Bah! Humbug!” in Ilminster
THERE will be a Christmas for everyone in Ilminster when the yuletide lights are switched on this Friday (November 17, 2017) with the theme “Christmas Past, Present and Future” for the traditional Victorian Evening celebrations.
It is the topic for this year’s shop window dressing competition for the Victorian Christmas Festival which starts at 6pm, with the lights switched on at 7pm.
It was, of course, also the ghostly theme for Charles Dickens’ Three Ghosts of Christmas in his seasonal novel Christmas Carol where Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - but there will be no “Bah! Humbug!” in Ilminster!
And judging by previous years, the theme will provide some excellent opportunities for superb window entries and, who knows, Scrooge might even make a surprise visit.
PHOTO - TOP: Members of the Ilminster Christmas Lights team.
Ilminster has always pulled out all the stops - and shops! - for a colourful and exciting Christmas period and has a reputation for some of the best festive street lighting in the area.
Teams from the Christmas Lights Committee were busy over the last three weeks putting up garlands throughout the town, and nearly 80 Christmas trees have been erected on shop fronts in the town centre, all adding to the sparkling spectacle.
For the annual Victorian Evening on Friday (November 17) the town centre streets will be empty of traffic which makes way for festive makers and shoppers as the Christmas period kicks off.
In addition to the colourful window displays, there will be plenty of other attractions on offer. During the day there will be carol singing in the Market Square by local schools - if you hear them, please go along and give them support - it is always a joyous occasion.
The evening’s festivities start at 6pm when hot refreshments will be available while you wait for the traditional Lantern Parade at 6.30pm.
At the head of the parade will be the Ilminster Majorettes and the Town Crier and his Escort. They will be followed by Santa on his eco-friendly sleigh followed by the children of Greenfylde First School with their lanterns and there could be a surprise at the rear of the parade where it is hoped there will be some even larger lanterns from visiting participants.
Santa’s sleigh will make its way to the Ile Youth Centre car park and he will meet children in his grotto inside the centre.
While the parade moves down from the school through Silver Street to the Market House, people will also gather for the countdown to the switch-on of the lights at 7pm.
Shops in the town centre will be open from 6pm to 8.30pm and there will be stalls and outlets in the improved food court from 6pm. In addition there will be three bands performing, the ever popular giant puppets, a children’s fun fair and a new Christmas Market.
And, of course, the crowning feature of the evening will be the town’s magnificent Christmas lights display.