Get set for Dorchester Cracker Night tonight

Dorset Echo: FLASHBACK: Last year's Dorchester Christmas Cracker FLASHBACK: Last year's Dorchester Christmas Cracker

DORCHESTER is preparing to get the festive season in full swing tonight with its Christmas Cracker.

The town’s popular Cracker Night will see families turning out tonight to enjoy fun, entertainment and, of course, the switch on of Dorchester’s Christmas lights.

The fun will get underway from about 5pm with 50 stalls packing South Street and the town centre to offer festive goodies and refreshments.

There will also be music throughout the town and new to this year is the Craft Fair that will be set up in the Corn Exchange with more than 35 stalls.

No festive event would be complete without an appearance from Father Christmas and Santa will be setting up his grotto in the Dorset County Museum for children to come along and meet him and receive a gift.

This year’s event has a ‘Spirit of Christmas’ theme and an award will be handed out to not just the best dressed window or best fancy dress but the business that demonstrates the most festive spirit overall.

John Fiori from the Cracker committee said that businesses had shown good support for the event this year and he hoped the 2013 event would be one to remember.

He said: “This year we seem to have more businesses embracing the Cracker, South Street is going to be full up with people and there will be a huge amount on offer for everybody this year.”

Santa will be leading a procession from the bottom of Hardye’s Arcade from 6.15pm in a special mode of transport.

He will be accompanied by elves and reindeer as well as children and dancers from the Dorchester Distinction cheerleading squad.

The procession will head up to St Peter’s Church for 6.30pm when a pair of celebrity guests will be pushing the plunger for the big Christmas light switch on.

The honour will go to Hollyoaks actress Tamaryn Payne and Britain’s Got Talent star Kai Widdrington, who are both starring in this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at Freshwater Holiday Park.

There will be music on the stage outside St Peter’s Church from 6pm to 7.15pm with performances from the St Peter’s choir, the Dorchester Rock Choir and Steel and Stone.

Elsewhere in the town the Rachel Scott singing group will be performing in the Tudor Arcade and Wheel Deal will be performing in Antelope Walk.

Mr Fiori said there had been a conscious effort to spread the musical entertainment around the town this year.

He said: “We are getting people a bit more involved this year and we are trying to spread it around the town a little bit.”

Mr Fiori described the number of stalls signed up for this year as ‘amazing’ and said he was excited about the addition of the Craft Fair.

There will be free parking from 5pm in the town’s car parks, with road closures coming into place in the town centre from 4.45pm.

Mr Fiori said he wanted to thank members of the Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary Club and the local branch of the Royal Naval Association, who have volunteered to marshal on the evening.

He also thanked St Peter’s Church for allowing organisers to use the venue and all the businesses in the town that have contributed presents for the children.

Mr Fiori said: “Thank you to everybody who has made the effort and people who have donated.”


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