Design team brings sparkle to Sidmouth for family festive fun at Connaught Gardens

Excitement is building as lighting designers are at Connaught Gardens, in Sidmouth, gearing up to fit sparkle and illuminations ahead of a new family festive event.

With days to go before the official opening of Connaught@Christmas, the team has been dressing the trees, shrubs, flower beds, walls and pillars with spotlights, light curtains, uplighters and tree illuminations.

Some 550 lighting units, seven kilometers of cable, more than 860 metres of fairy light strings and thousands of LED lamps will be fitted, plus a projection ‘finale piece’, which organisers say will ‘add colour and texture on to the cliffs above Jacob’s Ladder beach’.

Connaught@Christmas runs from Tuesday, December 7 until Sunday, December12 from 4.30 to 9.30pm. Tickets are on sale now.

The free-to-enter Christmas craft and food village opens at 1pm each day.

John Radford, event organiser, said “This is a more intimate experience than some illuminated events as we don’t have towering trees and ornamental lakes – but wow, what a location – on the clifftop overlooking Lyme Bay, with the sea air and the seagulls overhead.

“Everyone is feeling extremely excited about it.”

In Manor Road car park, there is an 800 sqm decorated marquee ready for visitors to browse more than 30 food and craft stalls, with traders from Sidmouth and Devon.

Lining the entrance to the event will be 50 decorated Christmas trees, brought in from Whimple.

Event organisers said the aim has been keen to support local businesses and trade.

An event spokeswoman said: “With the event team all based in Devon, Connaught@Christmas has been focused from the start on supporting local, from the traders and food vendors to the Christmas trees, and the musicians and choirs which include the town band and a group from Sidmouth schools.”

She added: “To keep visitors safe, the marquee will be well ventilated and picnic tables in the outdoor food court area are available for anyone preferring to eat outdoors.

“Using timed slots for visits means that the gardens won’t be overcrowded, and the later 8.30pm slot will be sold at half capacity ensuring even more space.”

Tickets go on sale for family festive fun in Sidmouth as Connaught@Christmas is ‘set to be the brightest festive event in East Devon this year!’

 

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