At Christmas in Thirsk, local groups come together to put on displays and events to celebrate the season.
And at Christmas, Thirsk’s shopkeepers, most of whom are small, independently-owned businesses, make an effort to put on a good display. All year, the hard-working Christmas Lights Committee fundraises to ensure that the town is glows with festive lights.
I’ve found Thirsk an excellent place for Christmas shopping, with the variety of independent stores offering something different to big national chains. Furthermore, it’s compact, with not too far to carry heavy bags to the car park, and relaxed, with plenty of places to break for refreshments.
After a year of planning, when the time comes to switch on the lights, the Lights commitee organises an entertainment extravaganza. Local musicians and performance artists come to entertain the crowds. The Rotary Club uses its contacts to bring Santa himself to town. And the celebrities throwing the switch are the best sort – locals: the winners of a schools art competition.
The lights going on signals the start of a whole weekend of Christmas-themed events in the town, with every year offering something different: seasonal films, Christmas trees, ice skating, competitions for the best Christmas windows, and craft fairs, are just some of the things that Thirsk has seen over the years.
The result, says Business Association chairman Guy Barangwanath, is, “A happy mood, looking forward to Christmas. It’s nice that everyone can experience that.”
“I’d like to thank the team that does all the work, because without that hard work, there wouldn’t be any Christmas lights.”
Find out what’s on at Thirsk Christmas Fayre
Read more about how Thirsk organises its Christmas events in Dalesman Magazine, December 2015
I’ve always found Thirsk a good place to find unusual gifts, as most of its shops are independently-owned, so stock different items to the big national chains. And at Christmas, they make a huge effort to put on a good display.
As Christmas approaches, the team involves other organisations in the town, to turn