Christmas trail of festive fun being launched in Norwich today

From Brussels sprouts to bells to crochet squares - artists and creative types have created an array of inventive and ingenious designs to decorate a series of trees that will decorate Norwich this Christmas.

The NORWICHRISTMAS Tree Art Trail features 21 very different trees and is officially being launched in Norwich Lanes this evening by one of the stars of this year's Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime.

Artists, local groups, organisations, and businesses have all been involved in the festive trail that is a Norwich City Centre Partnership project being managed by Norwich Arts Centre.

It is hoped lots of families will enjoy spotting the trees, and that the trail will encourage people to explore different parts of the city.

A competition has also been set up where people need to collect stamps from 10 of the trees to be in with a chance of winning prizes.


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Stuart Hobday, Norwich Arts Centre director, said: 'We are really pleased with the vibrant look of all the trees and the diversity of the designs. They range from the very young getting involved by creating a tree about their view of Christmas around the world to artists creating quite thought-provoking contemporary designs.

'It is a good mix and we really hope families will enjoy the trail. I think the different designs will really fire people's imaginations.'

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Stefan Gurney, from the Norwich City Centre Partnership, said: 'The project shows the amazing level of partnership work in the city including the businesses and organisations that have offered to host the trees, the artists who have designed the trees, Norwich Prison whose inmates built the trees, and all the other people who have supported the project.

'We hope all the families and visitors to the city will enjoy the trees and that the trail will encourage them to visit different parts of Norwich. We are a top 10 retail destination and have got an amazing heritage and contemporary art culture, and we hope the trail will encourage people to find out more about Norwich,'

Artist Lorraine Burn, who lives in Norwich's Silver Road area, created one of the tree designs - a wallpapered tree decorated with framed pictures.

She said: 'Every time I have gone to the workshop another tree seems to have appeared. The variety of the trees is brilliant. I am looking forward to seeing the whole trail and hope it will encourage people to go to places in Norwich they do not normally go to.'

The trail will run until January 6 and some of the money raised will be donated to Norwich Open Christmas.

• David Gant, who will play Professor Leonardo in Sleeping Beauty at Norwich Theatre Royal, will launch the trail at The Rub in Upper St Giles Street at 6pm tonight. Upper St Giles Street is also hosting a Christmas fair tonight from 5pm until 9pm.

• For more stories on the NORWICHRISTMAS Tree Art Trail, to see an online map of the trees, and to download the form to collect the trail stamps visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk

People can also pick up the competition form from any of the tree sites, the Tourist Information Centre at The Forum and Norwich Arts Centre.

Once people have collected 10 stamps on their forms they should post them in one of the boxes by the trees.

• We would like readers to send in pictures of their visits to the Tree Art Trail. Details of how to do this are on the Tree Art Trail page of our website.

• Are you involved in a special festive event? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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