All set for fabulous Wells ChristmasTide

Father Christmas arrives at the Wells Christmas Tide festival 2013. Picture: Ian Burt

Father Christmas arrives at the Wells Christmas Tide festival 2013. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

It is a very different town that celebrates its annual Christmas event this year.

Elf Ukulele Troubadours at the Wells Christmas Tide festival last year. Picture: Ian Burt

Elf Ukulele Troubadours at the Wells Christmas Tide festival last year. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Last December Wells was still mopping up after the tidal surge and had to pull out all the stops to be ready to welcome people to its Christmas Tide weekend.

But with no such adverse weather predicted for this year the Carnival Crew, who will be organising the event for the last time, are hopeful crowds will flock to the town for the festivities.

The main event is at high tide on Saturday when Father Christmas arrives by boat at the Quay. The event is heralded by an Illuminated Welcome Parade at 4.45pm, led by Thundermental Fire Breathers & Trix n Stix at Wells Health Centre.

A procession of lanterns, drums, fire twirlers and illuminated characters will parade down Staithe Street to the Quay where the Wells beacon and the lights of the parade will help Father Christmas find his way. His arrival by sea on the high tide at 5pm will be followed by an amazing firework display.

Father Christmas will then make the short journey to The Granary Theatre to greet Mother Christmas. Please note tickets to see Father Christmas there are all sold out.

Other events on Saturday start at 10am with a Christmas Market at The Maltings and The Sackhouse,

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From 11am to 4pm there is a drop-in lantern making workshop (£3) at The Maltings and at 12pm a mini fair opens on the Quayside.

Reindeer rides (although under their disguise they may well be donkeys) can be enjoyed from the health centre from 12pm to 4pm while buskers and street entertainers including Fakenham Town Band, Glitter Belle, Babushka the Present Giver with her Sami Elf, Sunna, will be found around the town.

Wells Primary & Nursery School choir will be singing in Staithe Street from 3pm and there is the chance to visit Mother Christmas at the Granary Theatre between 3pm and 3.30pm.

To get in the festive mood you can also enjoy a Christmas Tide Ab Fab Cocktail Evening on Friday evening at The Maltings from 8pm.

Tickets cost £22.50, (dress code optional - Absolutely Fabulous or characters from the TV series) includes six cocktails, savoury and sweet canapés, entertainment provided by female duo Sirens, dancing until late, raffle. Strictly over 18s. Tickets from Goldings, Staithe Street, or by calling 07990 720887.

There is a Christmas Tree Festival in the Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall from Friday until Sunday, 10am to 4pm (11am to 3pm Sunday) concluding with a Carols among the Christmas Trees service.

There is the chance to win a magnificent hamper of goodies – tickets on sale from the Carnival Merchandise and Mulled Wine stall (Maltings Community Centre) on Saturday.

Enjoy some Seasonal Gospel Soul Singing at a Workshop on the first floor of the Maltings Community Centre on Sunday from 1pm to 3pm, pay on the door £3. Or take the children to a Christmas Film Matinee, in association with Screen-next-the-Sea on Sunday at 2pm at the Granary Theatre where they are showing the hit Disney film Frozen (PG). Tickets £2 from Kinsleys in Staithe Street. No unaccompanied children please.

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