Four tree festivals to get you in the Christmas spirit

Elsie and Olivia Moores and Lexie and Taylor Owen enjoying the 2018 Sudbury Christmas Tree Festival

Elsie and Olivia Moores and Lexie and Taylor Owen enjoying the 2018 Sudbury Christmas Tree Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Nicola Warren looks ahead to some of the county’s most popular festive events.

Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket

The Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival is one of the biggest events in the country.

The lights of this year's festival, the 15th of its kind, will be switched on by a very special guest on Friday, November 22.

Last year's festival at St Mary-le-Tower Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Last year's festival at St Mary-le-Tower Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Doors will then be open to the public from Saturday, November 23 to Saturday, January 4.


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This year, trees will be on display at four venues within walking distance of each other in the town centre: St Peter and St Mary's Church, Abbott's Hall, Stowmarket Library and - new for this year - the Red Gables Garden.

In the church alone, there will be more than 360 decorated trees to see.

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There's also a programme of events taking place throughout the festival, including concerts, a Christmas lecture, a children's quiz, special services and school performances.

Elsie and Olivia Moores and Lexie and Taylor Owen enjoying the 2018 Sudbury Christmas Tree Festival

Elsie and Olivia Moores and Lexie and Taylor Owen enjoying the 2018 Sudbury Christmas Tree Festival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Drinks, mince pies and Christmas presents will be available to buy in the church throughout the festival.

At Abbot's Hall, the house in the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life, trees will be decorated in 'The Farm at Christmas' theme.

Visit the library and see trees celebrating Christmas songs, and nature-themed decorations in Red Gables Garden.

Last year, the church attracted 31,000 visitors during the event.

The Salvation Army are holding their Charity Christmas Tree Festival again this year Picture: GREGG

The Salvation Army are holding their Charity Christmas Tree Festival again this year Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich

This year marks the 10th St Mary-le-Tower Grand Christmas Tree Festival.

The 2019 festival, which takes place at St Mary-le-Tower in Ipswich town centre, will run from Thursday, November 28 to Wednesday, December 4.

There's a whole programme of events taking place during the festival, including a lunchtime concert, evening concert, Christingle carol service and Advent service.

A festival café will be open every day, selling soups, rolls, cakes and hot and cold drinks.

There will be a children's area next to the café, where little ones can play with Christmas trees and take part in free craft activities. There will also be a Nativity treasure hunt for them to try - and a treat if they fill in the sheet.

Last year, there were 115 real and artificial Christmas trees to admire - all decorated by local businesses, charities, community group and individuals. The church welcomed 3,500 people to the event.

This year, money raised from the festival will support Headway Suffolk, music at St Mary-le-Tower and upkeep of the church and the mayor's charities WASSUP and We Are Patrick.

Sudbury

The 17th Christmas Tree Festival organised by Sudbury Rotary Club will take place in St Peter's Church, Market Hill, Sudbury, from Wednesday, December 4 to Sunday, December 8.

Accompanied by performances and refreshments, this is an event that gets Christmas off to a spectacular start in the town.

The annual event supports local charities and this year the festival will raise money for Success after Stroke and Sudbury Citizens' Advice Bureau.

Last year, there were a record 98 Christmas trees, decorated by schools, business, charities and other organisations, at the event.

Felixstowe

The Salvation Army will be holding a Charity Christmas Tree Festival at their hall in Cobbold Road, Felixstowe, from Tuesday, December 3 to Saturday, December 7.

This year's event will be officially opened by the Mayor on the Tuesday evening, ahead of a short carol service.

Refreshments and light lunches, as well as homemade crafts, will be on sale at the event each day.

Money raised at the event will go to local charities.

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