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Issue 340 – It’s a Christmas Extravaganza!

Frome’s Christmas Ext-ravaganza on Saturday, returning this year to the Market Place, will kickstart this year’s Christmas celebrations, culminating in the official switching on of the Christmas lights.

Cllr Nick White, Mayor of Frome said, “We are aiming to make this year’s Christmas Extravaganza a truly family and community orientated event, in the heart of Frome, right at the beginning of the festive season. There’s the added bonus that we have the Christmas tree back in the centre of town, along with some new festive illuminations.
“So why not come into town, bring your family and join in the fun! The excitement culminates in the Market Place around 6.30pm when I’ll be switching on the new lights with the assistance of the winner of my Christmas card competition.”
Many of the shops and cafes in Frome will be staying open until 8pm on Saturday 26th November to allow shoppers to do their Christmas shopping and enjoy the Christmas festivities in the town after the switching on of the Christmas lights.
Starting at midday, activities throughout the town centre include:
• The popular reindeer and ‘Mojo’ the little donkey will be present in the Westway Centre and there will be the opportunity to visit Santa in his grotto from midday. All proceeds from the grotto support local charity, Positive Action on Cancer.
• Visit the children’s Christmas crafts workshop run by Wansdyke Play Association in unit 10 of the Westway Centre, any time from 1pm to 5pm.
• There will be a strolling magician, a balloon modeller and the lovely Rode Hand Bells performing about town during the afternoon.
• Fire Star Circus will be offering circus skills workshops and fire performances outside the library from 2pm.
• At 2pm in Frome Library there will be ‘The Cloak of Invisibility’ story writing workshop for children aged 8-11 years. Contact the library direct on 01373 462215 to book a place.
• Pick up some Christmas gifts at the Cheese & Grain’s Christmas Craft Market between 10am to 6.30pm.
• Charity stalls will also be in the Westway Centre.
• Pop into the new Routes youth café at the YMCA on Palmer Street between noon and 5pm.
• Take part in a magical storytelling event with Louise and Charlotte Woodall between 4.30pm and 5.30pm in Frome Library. ‘Christmas Tree Tales’ is aimed at children aged 5-10 years.
• Join in the Frome Area Christians Together candle-lit advent service at St John’s Church at 5.45pm.
• Watch and listen to a variety of live entertainment on the stage in the Market Place from 5pm compered by Tony Wright of The Breeze: Gina’s Christmas Zumba Fitness; Noisy Oyster performing ‘Dangerous Dave’; Laura-Jayne Hocking; Danceworks performing ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ and ‘The Dance of the Mirlitons’ (aka ‘Dance of the Reed Flutes’) from The Nutcracker Ballet, followed by a hip-hop number. 
• The Merlin Theatre will also be holding its Christmas Market from 12pm-4pm. There will be 20 stalls of handcrafted items from patchwork and crochet, to pictures and cards and festive treats to eat. There will be a new and gently browsed book stall to raise funds for the theatre and the Foyer Café will be full of cakes and treats. Nicki Hillman will be selling savoury soup and snacks in the bar. For children there will be a tombola, crafts room and Father Christmas in his winter grotto. Entry is £1 for adults, Free for children.
• Café La Strada will be open from 8.30am – 8pm on the day of the Extravaganza, offering mulled wine and festive refreshments. Also on sale will be their own, gorgonzola, chilli and fig ice cream. The ice cream is on sale until Christmas with proceeds donated to the Merlin Theatre.
• Finally congregate in the Market Place for the presentations to the Mayor’s Christmas card competition winners and the official Christmas lights switch-on followed by community carol singing, accompanied by Frome Town Youth Band.

Frome & District Chamber of Commerce say they welcome the Christmas Extravaganza moving back into the Market Place. Martin Short, joint chairman of the retail group says, “It’s so good to see a real tree back in the centre of Frome. We are looking forward to the Extravaganza and know that the town council has been working hard to make this a fun event for the whole family.
“This is great chance to join in the fun, do some Christmas shopping and support your local shops”
The Market Place will be closed to traffic between 3pm and 8pm on 26th November. There will be no access through the centre of Frome, however all the town’s car parks will be open as usual throughout the day.

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