|With so many activities across the district, Bradford is the place to be for Christmas.
There will be Christmas lights switch on events across the district as well as lots of music and entertainment, pantomimes, a fun fair and lots of Christmas fairs and markets, traditional Christmas Services including Nine Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral, there’s even a Christmas Tree Festival and the annual Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede will see antler clad runners tackle the 5k route round Lister Park.
A funfair will light up in City Park and Tyrrel Street from Thursday November 30 until Sunday December 3 with children’s rides and dodgems. Christmas street theatre will entertain shoppers on the pedestrian areas in the city centres between 12pm and 5pm on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. With 20 colourful acts including Santa and his sleigh, snowmen, fairies, elves, dancing turkeys, penguins, Rudolph, snow globes and stilt walkers all providing festive frolics and music. There may even be added snow.
The Alhambra Theatre’s outstanding pantomime will once again star the fantastic Billy Pearce who this year is taking on the role as Buttons with singer and Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, with performances from 16 December to 28 January.
Other Christmas shows and concerts include a Christmas Night With The Stars with tribute act performances from Cher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble, Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, folk rock pioneers Steeleye Span, famous for their 1973 Christmas hit Gaudete at Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens, an evening of dance, songs and festive cheer comes to the Alhambra theatre with the Christmas Words show on 7 December and The Chicago Blues Brothers bring their brand new festive show to the Alhambra on December 8.
An array of Christmas markets and craft fairs are being held across the district including the fantastic Victorian Christmas event at the Industrial Museum on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, Ilkley King’s Hall and Winter Gardens will be the venue for a Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre on Sunday 26 November, a Christmas Market will take place in Central Park in Haworth on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December and the Made Bradford Market will be held in Darley Street on Saturday 2 and Saturday 16 December.
There will be lots of festive fun at Bradford Council-run markets over the Christmas period with a Christmas Trade Fair hosted by Young Enterprise on Saturday 9 December inside the Oastler Shopping Centre, children’s interactive workshops, traditional Christmas entertainment from the Salvation Army Band, Pennine Chimes and school choir in the Oastler Shopping Centre and Kirkgate Market in the city centre and a Santa’s grotto along with festive entertainment at Keighley Market.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain has just launched the annual Lord Mayor’s Appeal Christmas Star’s Appeal, where people dedicate a star to a loved one for the Christmas tree in City Hall.
The Lord Mayor’s Appeal annual Christmas Lunch takes place on Friday December 15 in City Hall and raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.
For those wanting to get active there is the Epilepsy Action Reindeer Stampede with a 5k run and a mini stampede for children, Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way team has also organised two Christmas walks, a 5.5 mile Candlemass Eve walk on December 9 and a 4 mile Christmas Cheer walk on December 13.
Switch-on events with markets and fairs will be taking place across the district throughout November and December.
This year’s city centre Christmas lights will have a special light raising awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, the global campaign to end male violence against women. Incidences of domestic violence rise significantly during the festive period. The light will be turned on as part of the Christmas lights switch-on and will remain illuminated during the Christmas period including on White Ribbon day, 25 November.
The annual City Carol Service takes place at the Cathedral on Monday 18 December. The service is open to anyone and is attended by the Lord Mayor and civic leaders.
Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Christmas is such a special time of year and these events in the city centre and across the district give people plenty of opportunities to celebrate.”
For more information about Christmas events in the district visit www.visitbradford.com