Christmas tree festival promises to be bigger and better for 2018

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowm

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

They are up to their baubles in tinsel in Stowmarket ahead of one of the UK’s biggest Christmas Tree festivals.

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowm

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival, now in its 14th year, and with over 35,000 visitors, is one of the region’s major winter attractions.

It will see spectacular festive firs in Stowmarket Parish Church, Abbots Hall in the Museum of East Anglian Life and the town library.

Festival coordinator Judy Eden said she expected this year’s efforts to be even more spectaular than in previous years.

“We had over 450 trees across the three locations last year,” she said.

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowm

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“They’re all in the centre of Stowmarket so we’re encouraging people to see all the trees, do a little shopping and have something to eat.

“Stowmarket really is a Christmas destination.

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“The three displays are at the church, Stowmarket Library and the Museum of East Anglian Life.

“Our display really is by the community and for the community, and we’re hoping for even more visitors than last year’s 35,000 people.

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowm

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“The trees are being decorated already - one group has made a life-sized baby Jesus out of rice paper and glycerine this year.

“Plus, we have Jack and Tim, the father/son singers who got Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer on Britian’s got Talent, opening our display.”

The festival began back in 2005 with a modest 80 Christmas trees in St Peter and St Mary’s Church. Since then the festival has grown year by year beyond all imagination with more trees added each time.

People travel from all over the country and sometimes from overseas to see the trees, with many making the trip annually.

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowm

Reverend Michael Eden helping to get the church ahead of the annual Christmas Tree Festival in Stowmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket library is focusing on ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ with some lovely creative surprises hidden throughout the building.

For those inspired by the Christmas Tree Festival the library will be collecting poems, creative writings and art work to feature in a dedicated book to be published for next year’s Christmas Tree Festival. Each of the three locations will serve refreshments on the day. The festival runs from November 24 to January 5. Programmes can be downloaded here.

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