’Tis the season to be jolly as borough braces itself for Christmas

Christmas started early in Hemel Hempstead's Old Town, which held its lights switch-on on November 15
Christmas started early in Hemel Hempstead's Old Town, which held its lights switch-on on November 15

A final reminder about the festive fun events planned in Dacorum to kickstart the Christmas season this weekend.

The Christmas countdown begins with Tring’s traditional Christmas Festival from 6.30pm on Friday. 
 People are invited to gather on the High Street for the light switch on and to meet Father Christmas while shops will be open late and a fun fair will fill Akeman Street and Dolphin Square.

On Saturday Hemel Hempstead’s Riverside Shopping Centre will welcome the arrival of a giant 15ft-high ‘rocking reindeer’ which shoppers can ride and take away a free portrait.

Also on Saturday, Kings Langley High Street hosts its switch-on from 3pm to 7pm.

On Sunday, Heart FM radio will be outside Tiki Cafe in Marlowes to organise entertainment for all the family.

Fairground rides will be available in the town centre from midday while Santa will be joined by another jolly figure in a red coat – Mayor of Dacorum Allan Lawson – to switch on the lights at 5.30pm, followed by a fireworks display.

Santa takes up residence at the Marlowes Shopping Centre from Sunday with a letters workshop, returning each weekend until the big day.

Berkhamsted’s High Street retailers are hoping to win the prize for best festive window at the town’s Festival of Light on Sunday from 3.30pm.

Crafts, mulled wine and mince pies, charity and commercial stalls and children’s rides will be on offer, as well as the chance to pen a letter to Father Christmas from 3.30pm to 5.45pm at the Civic Centre.

The lights switch-on takes place at 5.15pm and there is an Advent Service at St Peter’s Church at 6pm.

Also on Sunday, Redbourn Christmas Market takes place from 11am to 5pm at Cumberland Gardens, Village Hall and the High Street. The family event features a range of goods and handmade gifts, entertainment by choirs and musicians, Father Christmas, face painting and food.