Festive Victorian splendour returns

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A touch of Charles Dickens’ magic will once again be sprinkled onto the town for the Brighouse Victorian Christmas Festival.

Organised by the volunteers of the Brighouse Business Initiative it promises to be another hugely popular event opening on November 29. This free event will take over the entire town centre creating a truly memorable Christmas atmosphere.

Brighouse’s largest ever street market will be filled with exciting Christmas gifts, local food and crafts. In addition most shops will have Victorian themed window displays and staff will be dressed in period costume to really bring the Victorian theme alive.

Throughout the weekend Brighouse streets are going to be filled with juggling, stilt walking, comedy, magic and circus acts, singing, musical fun and laughter.

Highlights include a vintage carriage with shire horses which will parade Santa through the town, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, a steam punk parade and re-enactors dressed in period costume.

Queen Victoria with Prince Albert will officially open the proceedings at 10am on the Saturday after being paraded in a vintage car from the railway station. Street entertainers the De Ramos Acrobats from TV’s X Factor, Alexander Wells the magician and Victorian chimney sweep Micky Bimble on a penny farthing will be there on the day.

The highlight of Saturday will be the torch light parade around town prior to the Christmas lights switch-on. Santa will be paraded through town at 4pm with the Peace Artistes Street Orchestra, a street band made up of 18 musicians: percussion, saxes and brass.

On Sunday, November 30, the great entertainment just keeps on going. All the shops will be open and the street market continues. Maynard Flipflap will entertain kids with his silly stunts, high comedy and fire juggling show.

At the Civic Hall on the Friday night (November 28) there will be a music hall variety show. Tickets are £10 from Harrison Lord, Simply Flowers or Ryecorn Wholefoods

Santa will set up his grotto in Overgate’s charity shop for the weekend and he’d be delighted to see kids of all ages.

For more details, visit www.victorianchristmasfestival.co.uk.

Visitors to the Victorian Festival in Brighouse could be forgiven for thinking Christmas has come early, thanks to Central Methodist Church recreating one of the most iconic Christmas scenes – involving three real camels and wise men.

In a first for the church, and Calderdale, “Central’s Camels at  Christmas” will be bringing a touch of the exotic to the streets, portraying the arrival of the three wise men, bearing the famous gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In another innovation, a life-size interactive nativity will be on show, outside the church, Organisers are looking for angels, shepherds and extra wise men and women to take part.

New Minister, Reverend Mark Cheetham, who was appointed in September, said: “I am really excited at the prospect of bringing the Christmas story to life for thousands of local people. We’re a big church, with some big ideas, and this is certainly one of the most ambitious events that I have been involved in. I can’t wait to see the faces of people when they see three very big, live camels, helping us to bring the story of Jesus to life and help put the Christ back in Christmas.”