Launched on 27 October, Christchurch in Dorset is set to welcome its new Christmas celebration with a countdown to Christmas by showcasing 24 different local talents at 24 pop-up venues in the town whilst supporting 24 different regional charities.
The new event is organised by volunteers led by The Rotary Club of Christchurch and more than 36 companies and local businesses are backing the new Christmas celebration being held in Christchurch for the first time.
The launch, sponsored by the Kings Arms Hotel, was attended by local dignitaries and representatives of organisations. Harbour Hotels Group top chef Alex Aitken welcomed guests to the Priory Suite in the Kings Arms, where Christchurch Rotary president introduced the chair of the CLAC Organising Team, Rtn Jan Banks. Jan outlined the origins and development of the Living Advent Calendar concept, Rtn Mike Wood then detailed the 24 charities set to benefit from the event, and Mary Reader explained the associated communications activities.
Following questions and answers, Cllr Sue Bungey, the Mayor of Christchurch, commended the team for all the work involved in setting up this complex event, and pledged continuing support from the town council. Councillor Nigel Hedges, chairman of the BCP Council, confirmed support likewise from BCP Council, which is always keen to assist projects that bring pleasure to residents, benefits to local businesses and charities, and visitors to the area.
Tim Lloyd from The Captain’s Club Hotel, a confirmed venue, said: “We are so pleased to be taking part in this fantastic community Christmas event. It’s the perfect mix of festive magic whilst also showcasing everything on offer here in Christchurch – hotels, venues, eateries and of course talent involved in the Christchurch Living Advent Calendar (CLAC).”
Marianne Abley, President of Christchurch Rotary said: “When this idea was first mentioned at the Rotary Club by Jan Banks, now chair of the organising committee, members offered immediate support. Now with Christmas fast approaching we really believe that after the last 18 months this will be a true celebration of hope and cheer, a boost we all need. We’re so grateful to all who have helped so far, given up their time and volunteered to make this happen; we can’t wait, and are on countdown to the 1 December.”
The event ended with a festive-themed recital of songs from La Nova singers.
The original concept of a Living Advent Calendar was created over 15 years ago in Stockholm Sweden.
What to expect in Christchurch
Christchurch’s pop-up living advent calendar will run daily from Wednesday 1 to Thursday 24 December. Each evening at 6.15pm a different ‘door’ or ‘window’ at a town centre venue will be opened to reveal a 30-minute performance which could be by choirs, singers, bands, dance troupes, individual musicians, or theatrical groups – you’ll have to be there on the night to see who is performing.
The venues and supported charities will be advertised to the community in advance via social media, but the performers will not be revealed until each door or window opens, just as in a children’s Advent Calendar… a new surprise every night, with a special, surprise Christmas Eve closing event on Thursday 24 December to be held in Saxon Square at the earlier time of 2pm.
For more information, visit christchurchlivingadventcalendar.org.uk, or follow Christchurch’s festive advent elves on social media: Instagram Christchurch_living_advent and Facebook. Alternatively, email email@example.com.
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