Leighton Buzzard community champion gets the honour of turning on Christmas lights
All you need to know as the Christmas Festival weekend returns
The Leighton-Linslade Christmas Festival weekend returns to the High Street of Leighton Buzzard from next Friday (November 26) after a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Festivities begin at 4pm with the opening of the Christmas craft and gift market, the food court, funfair and Santa’s grotto.
The main stage on Friday evening hosts the festivities with performances from local community groups and musicians before welcoming invited guests, dignitaries and local VIPs to the stage for the switch on at 7pm.
This year’s local VIP is Holly King-Mand, now widely known as the nation’s favourite English teacher who shot to social media fame after offering free, live and interactive English lessons to children around the world during the pandemic (more here). Holly will be joined by the Leighton-Linslade Carnival Senior Princess Poppy and Carnival Princess Charlotte.
The festival is organised by Leighton-Linslade Town Council in partnership with LB First.
Gennaro Borrelli of LB First, who contacted Holly about performing the switch-on honours, said: “We have yet another great community champion from our wonderful town. Holly King-Mand will be our VIP guest and turning the brand-new Christmas lights on.
"It's brilliant that the Christmas Festival Weekend can go ahead this year, it's been so hard for everyone. We’re very excited about being able to bring some cheer to our town where everyone can enjoy the festive atmosphere and do a bit of Christmas shopping at the same time.
“It is wonderful that people are now able to come together to celebrate the start of the festive season within the town,” said Cllr. Farzana Kharawala, Mayor of Leighton-Linslade who, along with Mr Borrelli, will be joining the local VIPs on stage for the evening.
She added: "The council is pleased to recognise Holly for her work during difficult Covid months and as a parent, I have personal appreciation for the support our teachers have given our young people.”
On Saturday, November 27, Church Square will host the start and finish line for the Santa Dash organised by Leighton Fun Runners in association with KidsOut. Throughout the day, entertainers will bring extra sparkle to the Charter Market and Handcraft Market.
Sunday, November 28 sees the welcome return of the Christmas Craft and Gift Market. A fun-packed day of entertainment will be provided by by Ebor ‘n’ Gum, The Festive Funnels and The Elves and the Goodometer alongside Santa’s Grotto, balloon modelling and festive baking decoration for the younger (or young at heart) generation.
The town council says it is closely monitoring the current government guidance for outdoor events and changes to the advertised programme of activityies may be made at short notice.
For more information about the Leighton-Linslade Christmas Festival Weekend see www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk; or keep an eye on the council's social media channels @LLTCNews. You can also email with any queries via [email protected].