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Helmsley counts down to a magical Christmas

Town prepares for Christmas Tree Festival and Big Day of Festive Fun

Helmsley is gearing up for the start of a fortnight of festive festivities.

Friday 6th December marks the start of the town’s two-week long annual Christmas Tree Festival. Following the success of last year’s event, which attracted 2,500 visitors and raised £4,000 for good causes, 30 individually decorated Christmas trees will create a dazzling spectacle, lighting up the town’s All Saints Church every day from 10am to 4pm until 19th December. All of the trees will be uniquely decorated by a different organisation in the town along the theme of Christmas Carols. There will also be a festive trail to take around the town, where visitors can count up the number of teddies in the Christmas window displays to be entered into a prize draw.

The Christmas spirit is going to be evident throughout the town on Saturday 7th December with Helmsley’s Festive Fun Day, in honour of Small Business Saturday. The day is part of a national campaign championing ‘keeping it local’ and celebrates the high number of independent businesses in the town.

The festive fun will run from 10am to 6pm and will include:

• all day parking for just £1.50 in the long stay car park
• a Christmas wishing tree & festive photo booth
• a ‘man crèche’ at The Royal Oak
• free street food tastings throughout the town
• mulled wine and crepes
• festive wreath making demonstration – 10am - 12noon
• ‘Papercuttergirl’ crafts from – 1 - 3pm
• children's puppetry and storytelling – 11am, 12noon and 2pm
• festive fashions and special discounts at Pennitas – 12 – 4pm
• dog ‘festive fancy dress’ competition at 1pm
• Santa and his sleigh – 3pm – 6pm
• giant gingerbread house
• children’s activities and crafts – 10 – 12noon
• biscuit decorating demonstrations from Country Cake Designs from 11am
• competitions and giveaways
• midday appearance from Helmsley Arts Centre Community Choir
• and lots more festive surprises to make Christmas shopping a treat this year.

Chris Garnett, Chairman of Helmsley in Business, said: “Christmas in Helmsley is going to be very magical this year. After the success of last year’s inaugural Christmas Tree Festival we were determined to have one that was even bigger and better this year! With us planning a new Festive Fun Day as well, it’s been a pleasure to see so many businesses and organisations in Helmsley get behind events and really try and make a visit to the town very special for locals and tourists alike.

“Helmsley is the perfect place to do some relaxed Christmas shopping. You can find unique presents for all the family in its many independent retailers, before warming up with a hot chocolate (or something a bit stronger) at the wide choice of award-winning cafes, restaurants and pubs. It’s Christmas shopping without the stress. We look forward to welcoming lots of people – we can guarantee they’ll leave feeling like the festive season has really begun!”

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For further media information or images please contact: Shona Nutter on 07714 953919 or

Notes to editors:

Helmsley in Business is a group of 36 businesses working together to ensure the continuing success of the North Yorkshire town of Helmsley.

Members include:

Agnus & Co; Beck Tea Room; Black Swan Hotel; Bridge Antiques; Browns of Helmsley; Carlton Lodge; Castlegate Cafe; Castle Stores; Carters Country Wear; Celebrate Country Cake; Claridges; Crema Coffee Shop; Cut Price Bookshop; Duncombe Park Gift Shop; Feversham Arms Hotel; Gepettos Italian Restaurant; Helmsley Art Centre; Helmsley Traditional Sweet Shop; Helmsley Walled garden; Hunters of Helmsley; KVA Planning; Libby Butler Jewellers; Look Gallery; Millers Tale; Nice Things Gift Shop; No. 54 B&B; Pennita Fashions; Peter Silk Furniture & Gifts; Porters Coffee Shop; Saltbox Gallery; Scotts of Helmsley Fish and Chip Shop; Sienna Gift Shop; Spear Travels; The Royal Oak; The Stickman and Viva Hair.

Helmsley is a market town in the Ryedale District of North Yorkshire, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the North York Moors’. It is popular with tourists for its characterful Market Place, historic architecture, the wide range of quality independent shops, and the excellent selection of accommodation, pubs, cafes and restaurants, many of which are award-winning. There are also plenty of interesting activities and attractions available on the doorstep including Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, The Walled Gardens and Duncombe Park. Helmsley also marks the start of the Cleveland Way, which is popular with walkers and loops round the National Park to end up at the coast near Filey.

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