Family festive fun for Ottery as town gears up for late-night shopping and Christmas light switch-on

Ottery St Mary is gearing up for its Christmas light switch-on later this month, with festive fun including late-night shopping and a market.

The town will celebrate the start of its festivities on Friday, November 26, to include a torch-lit procession, entertainment, stalls selling crafts and gifts, plus many of the Ottery’s shops staying open until 8pm.

A shop window gingerbread man hunt, music from the town’s Silver Band and La La Choir members, a torch-lit procession led by Ottery’s carnival princess, a Christmas tree festival in Ottery St Mary parish church, festive market in Silver Street and two traction engines in Broad Street raising funds for charity, are some of the promised attractions.

A spokesperson for the late-night shopping event said: “Highlights include a gingerbread hunt in all of Ottery’s shops, the church and La La Choirs, the Silver Band, a small outdoor Christmas market, the church’s Christmas tree festival and the turning on of the Christmas lights.

“Shops, cafes and businesses will stay open until 8pm.

“We would love everyone to join the torch-lit procession down the hill from the church and help us mark the start of the festive season.”

They added: “During the days leading up to the event you will start to see gingerbread figures appearing in shop windows all over the town. We think there will be 55 to find.

“There are no prizes for finding them all, but let’s see how imaginative and clever the shopkeepers can be in hiding their gingerbread.”

The torch-lit procession, led by Ottery’s carnival princess will leave the church steps at around 6.10pm; the church will have its annual Christmas tree festival – open all day to the public with refreshments available and a small shop selling gifts.

The event spokesperson said: “We are hoping the church choir may be performing inside the church as well.

“Come and have a look at the Christmas trees and you will be sure of a warm welcome.

“There will be a small Christmas market at the top of Silver Street under the church.

“There will be a few local craft and catering companies offering festive treats.

They added: “Several of the town’s cafes and bars will be open and offering special menus, and most of our shops will be open until 8pm.

“It’s a great time to look around town with friends and family and see what is on offer.”

Gliddons and Hopsicare have arranged for two traction engines to be in Broad Street, one for rides the other to have photos with, in return for a small donation for the charity.

And there will be tables in Hind Street, selling Christmas gifts and crafts.

The town’s Silver band will perform in Mill Street before and after the torch-lit procession, while the La La Choir will lead the procession then sing in Ottery’s main square.

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