Festive night of fun in store

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:19 10 June 2010

From fireworks to a children s nativity play with real animals, from live music to late night shopping, from a crazy Santa Dash to the amazing Great Big Christmas Sing, the Exmouth Christmas Cracker weekend promises something for everyone! The weekend kic

From fireworks to a children's nativity play with real animals, from live music to late night shopping, from a crazy Santa Dash to the amazing Great Big Christmas Sing, the Exmouth Christmas Cracker weekend promises something for everyone!

The weekend kicks off on Friday, December 4, at 5.30pm, with a beautiful lantern parade of singing schoolchildren through the Magnolia Centre and into The Strand, where the crowds can enjoy a stunning firework display, a traditional Nativity play by the children of The Beacon School with live farm animals, carol singing and a host of live music and family fun.

Most stores in and around the Magnolia Centre will be open late for the Christmas Cracker and on the Friday evenings up to Christmas. Many shops will have special offers on the night that include some festive treats, so look out for the Christmas Cracker posters. The indoor market is also staying open until 8pm that evening and is again hosting "Santa Paws", Exmouth's own Christmas bear, who has borrowed Santa's sleigh for the night! Santa Paws will be entertaining the younger visitors and signing his special "paw print" autograph.

On Saturday, December 5, at 3pm, Exmouth will see its first ever Santa Dash! People of all ages are encouraged to dress as Santa or at least in some form of red and white fancy dress and to gather at the top of Exeter Road at 2.45pm.

The roads will be closed for the event and, under the watchful eye of the police and Santa Paws, the runners will dash down Exeter Road to The Magnolia Centre. This is not a race, it's just for fun. But spot prizes will be given for the best costumes, most imaginative Santa and other categories! Come as a family, or a team from work! Entry is £1 on the day and if you want to collect more money for charity, sponsorship forms are available from the Town Hall. All the money collected will go to Christian Aid's work in the poorest communities across the world.

The Christmas Cracker weekend reaches its climax with the sixth annual Great Big Christmas Sing at The Pavilion Theatre on Sunday, December 6, at 7.30pm. With a host of local performers and artists, ballet, African drummers, choirs, dancers, songs from the shows and lots of hilarious audience participation, as well as the most beautiful traditional carols sung by hundreds of people. Tickets are only £6 from the Pavilion box Office and are already selling fast!

Again, all proceeds from the show and the grand draw are going to Christian Aid's projects working with some of the poorest people on the planet. Christian Aid's Martin John Nicholls said: "It's wonderful to think that the good people of Exmouth are celebrating Christmas not only by having fun themselves, but also by supporting people across the world who have nothing. It's bringing the true spirit and meaning of Christmas alive for us today!"

The weekend will see a wider mix of music than ever before. As well as a good dose of traditional Christmas music, there is a diverse range that you might not be expecting. On the Friday the streets will witness performances from African drummers, gypsy jazz bands, country and more. The Clipper will then host an after-party showcasing some seriously original talent.

There will be performances from Rainy and the Dust - a fresh sound that will get rid of those winter blues - Paul Besselle and the Slip Down Dog - acoustic music that has the power and rhythm to get you on your feet. Saturday night will see the Nashville Rash Christmas Special, a local showcase of Americana talent in the Old Barrel. Ultimately, there is a genre-bending mix that will add some serious spice to our Christmas Festival! In our streets and in our pubs.

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