Where: St Peter and St Mary’s Church and Abbot’s Hall, Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, Suffolk
£: Free but donations are welcome
What is it?
See over 300 Christmas trees at the annual Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival in Suffolk this festive season.
The first Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival took place in St Peter and St Mary’s Church in 2005. This first festival took place for one weekend with about 80 trees decorated by members of the congregation. Due to the popularity of the festival throughout the town, the Christmas Tree Festival has evolved and grown each year, into a multi-venue event with over 300 trees to visit.
This year is the tenth Christmas Tree Festival and for the first time it is extending to Abbot’s Hall at the Museum of East Anglian Life. Stowmarket is getting a reputation for being the ‘Christmas Tree Town’, with the festival expanding and coach parties descending from throughout the region.
The Christmas Tree Festival is officially open from the end of November to the beginning of January. It is seen as a community event for the community and further afield. Last year it welcomed 25,000 visitors. People travel from all over the country to see the Christmas Tree Festival and there is one lady who comes each year from the Netherlands, and after seeing the trees will stock up on Christmas cards of the festival.
There is no entrance fee, although donations are very gratefully received to help keep the festival running. Any extra money is put towards The 3Rs Project of Renovation, Restoration and Reordering.
The trees are all donated and the standard to which they are decorated is very high with some groups meeting to make their decorations months beforehand. One lady this year is making all her decorations from loom bands and another is knitting all of hers. Each tree is decorated to a theme and some of the more unusual trees include, one made from buttons by The Regal staff, and a 3D optical illusion tree. People are encouraged to think big and be creative and the result is said to be amazing every time.
More info: For more details and opening times, please visit www.stowmarketparishchurch.co.uk