Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival
St Peter and St Mary’s Church Stowmarket, IP14 1ES
Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival 2015 November 27th – January 2nd
It all started with a modest eighty Christmas trees in 2005 scattered around St Peter and St Mary’s Church and since then the Festival has grown year by year beyond all imagination with more trees being adorned with sparkle and festivity each time. The decorators from groups and organisations in the town are told to be creative and to think big and the result is absolutely wonderful which last year attracted over thirty thousand visitors to see the Christmas trees. People travel from all over the country with some making sure that their annual visit to see friends and relations in Suffolk fits in with Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival. The Visitor’s Book also shows grateful comments from international tourists who come back year on year: ‘Beautiful, really filled us with the Christmas spirit to take back to Belgium’.
So when on visiting the Christmas Tree Festival what can you expect to see hanging on the trees? Well the answer is everything from brussel sprouts covered in glitter to loom band shepherds to edible donkeys created from icing sugar. It seems as if all the town’s groups, organisations, schools and charities, in fact anyone who is anybody in the town applied during the summer to decorate a tree. As well as traditional Christmas trees visitors have also found an optical illusion tree, one made from six hundred buttons and another from Roses tin lids to name a view.
The Stewards who are ready to welcome you love to see faces light up as visitors walk through the big glass doors mouthing ‘WOW’. People might have heard about Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival and seen the photographs but nothing compares to the experience of visiting and seeing the Christmas trees for yourself. In daylight they look bright and colourful, at dusk when the sun is going down they look amazing and then when it is dark it is like being in a warm and welcoming magical kingdom.
The one way route around the Church includes a stopping off point to relax and have a drink and a mince pie as you take in more of the enchanting Christmas atmosphere. There is also the opportunity to write the name of a loved one no longer with us and hang on a tree. Others might want to pen a prayer or say thank you to God for something at this Christmas season. All these carefully cut out decorations can be hung on a special tree knowing that God hears ours prayers.
Last year Abbots Hall, in the award winning Museum of East Anglian Life, and only a stones throw from the Parish Church in the centre of Stowmarket was very pleased to display decorated Christmas trees to a vintage theme in their Exhibition rooms. Visitors were treated to smelling the cloves pinned in oranges, corn dollies hanging on branches and fresh gingerbread men dressed with ribbon bow ties. Seeing Christmas present toys from childhood piled on a bed adorned with a patchwork cover was a treat not to mention the rest of the displays in the grand and recently restored Queen Anne house.
Not wanting to miss out, in 2015 The Mix, the new entrepreneurial youth facility in the town, will also be home to a variety of Christmas trees and these will be decorated by local young people. Creative Christmas is the starting point for these trees so don’t be surprised by anything.
Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival is a great day out for all the family whether you are one or one hundred and one. It is on the A14 in the heart of Mid Suffolk and open every day. For more details of opening times click on the calendar link below.
Coach parties are very welcome and food can be provided. When you are in Stowmarket why not stop off and do your Christmas shopping too? There are a number of independent shops as well as the national chain store shops.