Ready for the festive spirit

Festive spirits will be high at Malmesbury’s late-night shopping event next week as families enjoy music, entertainment and Santa’s grotto.

The event on December 13 is one of the highlights on the Malmesbury calendar and will see traders opening until 9pm to provide a perfect opportunity to stock up on presents.

The High Street, Oxford Street, Abbey Row and Gloucester Road will be closed to traffic from 4.30pm for the celebrations.

There will be a formal switch-on of the Christmas tree in Market Cross and Santa’s grotto lights.

John Gundry, the mayor of Malmesbury, said: “The idea is that people can come in and do their late night shopping in the town in a jolly atmosphere and there are also stalls in the High Street.

“It’s a wonderful time for people to come to the centre of the town. There are pies and hotdogs and some of the shops say thank you to their customers by providing nibbles and mulled wine.

“I shall be there in my robes and chain walking about and being jolly. For some people it’s very much the first time that you begin to get that Christmas spirit. It kicks off the Christmas season for a lot of people.”

Father Christmas will be brought into the town on his sleigh pulled by a Land Rover, accompanied by his Rotary Club helpers. He will then go on to greet children in his grotto at Market Cross, which will be free to enter.

One of those taking part in the event is The Cherry Tree gift shop. Owner Jane Nurden said: “We open the door and all night the shop is just packed. It’s a really good night and we’re looking forward to it.”

Parking is free from 6pm.


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