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Summer holidays are starting - so time for town to think about Christmas!

PUBLISHED: 08:34 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 19 July 2019

Preparations for the Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival last year PICTURE: Sonya Duncan

Preparations for the Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival last year PICTURE: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2018

It may only be the start of the school summer holidays - but thoughts are already turning to Christmas in Fakenham.

Sharon Moore fundraising at the festival in 2016. Picture: Ian BurtSharon Moore fundraising at the festival in 2016. Picture: Ian Burt

Places for the town's ever-popular Christmas Tree Festival are full and more details on the lights switch-on event have been announced.

Several town groups will be returning to decorate a tree at this year's festival, as well as several new charities coming for the first time.

From the town come the Mother's Union, the Junior School and the Children's Daycare Centre. The 2534 Fakenham Air Training Corps will return, alongside the Wensum Scouts, while Wells' Sea Cadets will also join in.

National Coastwatch from Wells will be getting the tinsel out, with Cats Protection League's Dereham adoption centre also displaying.

Christmas lights outside Aldiss in Fakenham, 27 November 1967. Photo: Archant LibraryChristmas lights outside Aldiss in Fakenham, 27 November 1967. Photo: Archant Library

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The Cystic Fibrosis Trust will be attending, as they have since the second festival. Sharon Moore recently raised her 59,000th pound for the trust, and will decorate the tree with her aunt. She said "Provided nobody stops me, I'm going to keep doing it!".

Fundraisers for Whitelands Play Area will decorate a tree for the first time, hoping to buy new equipment for a play park there. Laura Woods, of the organisation, said "We're hoping to get the children of Whitelands involved in making the decorations and putting them on the tree."

Also attending will be Norfolk Zipper Club, fundraising for the Royal Papworth Hospital where they all had life-saving heart surgery. The Friends of Cranmer House care home will be returning to the event, after their facility was saved from closure two years ago.

Town mayor Gilly Foortse is the chairman of the committee, and said: "After the closure of the nursing unit the level of donations dropped significantly, so we have in recent years organised many fund raising events to support the house."

Meanwhile, organisers of the town Christmas light turn-on event have confirmed it will take place on Saturday, November 30, 2pm to 6pm.

One of the organisers, Linda Jennings, said: "There's still a lot to be done, but we're aiming for it to be a traditional family event. We've got booking from several stall holders, the town band, the academy band and choirs from the junior and infant schools."

Organisers decided a fairground would be too expensive for parents, and wanted the event to be as accessible as possible.

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