What a marvellous programme Roger Crouch, the event co-ordinator, has put on for the 2011 Rye Christmas Festival.It all kicks off at 10am. on Friday 2 December with a Rye Country Market at the Community specifically targeting items for Christmas.
The following day has been designated Christmas shopping Day, highlighted by the lighting of the Tree at The George in Rye at 5.30pm. This will be followed by a spectacular Firework Display. Shoppers can take time out judging Best Dressed Window Displays around the Town and could win a table for four at a Rye Restaurant. The Bromley Youth Chamber Orchestra will be putting on a performance at St Marys Church at 7.30pm. For something lighter, try the Beckley Concert at 6pm.
On Sunday 4 December a Toy Service will be held at St Marys at 10.30am. and a Christingle Service at Camber at 3pm.
Wednesday 7th. sees the NSPCC Christmas Fair at The George in Rye and on Friday 9th. another Christmas Country Market arranged by the Women’s Institute takes place at the Community Centre at 10am. Also on Friday the first of the local Childrens Carol Concerts will go ahead at Beckley.
The centre piece of the Festival is THE MAGICAL EVENT will be on Saturday 10th. The day starts with a Christmas Bizarre at the School Creative Centre, an exclusive shopping experience that offers a contemporary twist on the traditional festive fair. This runs from 11am. to 7pm.
An Art & Craft Fair at the Rye Community Centre runs on parallel times. The Rye Tourism Information Centre at Lion Street stages an Open Day with FREE Mince Pies.
The Magical Festive Procession, led by Father Christmas and his Reindeer accompanied by Pipers and Drummers, will leave Rye Station at 4.30pm. and head off through Cinque Ports Street via Landgate Arch, High Street to The Strand, where the Reindeer will be on public display. There will be a fantastic Christmas Farmers Market in full swing on The Strand.
Father Christmas will be whisked away to the Rye Museum in East Street where he will greet hundreds of children in his Grotto. Each will be GIVEN a present. There will be FREE Face Painting and Refreshments available after 5.30pm. (sponsored by Jempsons of Peasmarsh).
For the strong minded and inquisitive a Guided Ghost Walk leaves from the Rye Heritage Centre at 6pm.
There are dozens of Christmas Services and other events from December 11th. onwards. They are listed on the December Diary Page. Examples are a Service of Lessons and Carols at Rye Methodist Church 10.30am., Carols with Rye Singers at East Guildeford at 2.30pm., Rye Town Candlelight Carol Service at St Marys with mulled wine and mince pies at St Marys, a Carol Service with nativity and donkey 6.30pm. Camber and Carols by Candlelight at Rye Baptist Church 6.30pm. All these events are on the 18th.
Most Churches have Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and there are Family Celebration Services at many on Christmas Day.
The Festival concludes on New Years Eve with a Watch-night Service at St Marys. 11.30pm.