Council spreads Christmas cheer
Wednesday 27 November: Hillingdon Council will be spreading festive cheer with celebration events, colourful lights and free parking.
On Friday 29 November at 5.30pm, the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr David Yarrow, will switch on the Christmas tree lights on the Civic Centre forecourt. The switch-on will be accompanied by carols and hymns sung by a choir of local schools and seasonal music from the Hillingdon Music Service Brass Band. Presents galore fill the popular £5 a go shoe-box raffle, with gifts donated by local businesses and all proceeds going to the Mayor's Charity Appeal. Attendees can enjoy complimentary hot drinks (subject to availability) and new for this year will be a seasonally decorated wooden arbour seat, where residents can take photos or selfies during the Christmas period.
This year, the council is investing £285,000 in Christmas lighting displays across 28 locations, including four community-led events from the Ickenham Festival Committee, Northwood Residents Association, Northwood Hills Residents Association and Ruislip Manor Chamber of Commerce.
From Saturday 30 November the Rural Activities Garden Centre, Yiewsley will be offering a wide selection of cut Nordmann fir non drop trees, homegrown potted trees and other decorative accessories. Tree sizes vary between five and eight foot and prices range from £35 to £40.
Uxbridge town centre is also hosting the Tinsel Town Christmas market until Saturday 28 December. The market features 30 wooden chalets offering a range of gifts and food, mulled wine, treats, live music on stage plus lots of children's activities, including street performances from the Christmas Crackers, Hodman and Sally, the Roller Skating Prezzies and the Snow Lion every Sunday throughout December, as well as a Santa's Grotto, choir performances and a Christmas train.
The borough's libraries are getting into the festive spirit by hosting a range of events and activities for adults, families and young people throughout December. Activities include Ruislip Belles & Beaux Hand Bell Ringers ringing in the festive period at Uxbridge, South Ruislip and Manor Farm Libraries, Pantomime Pandemonium at Oak Farm Library and decoration making at other venues. For a full list of activities, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/christmas
On Saturday 21 December, the Battle of Britain Bunker Exhibition and Visitor Centre will be displaying wartime era Christmas cards from their collection and there will be a special appearance by Nana the Reindeer.
The council is supporting local businesses and helping make Christmas shopping easier by offering free weekend parking for residents in council-owned car parks in the lead up to the festive period, for those using their HillingdonFirst card. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day it will be free for all residents and visitors to park at each of the council's car parks and on-street parking bays.
Leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot, said: "Christmas is a very important and special time of year for residents, retailers and businesses throughout the borough. As a council, we are committed to investing in events and decorative displays in Hillingdon during the festive period, and I hope everyone enjoys the celebrations and displays taking place."
A full list of the council's events, including Christmas light switch-ons, plus details on free parking and waste collections over the holidays, are available at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/christmas.