In a warm, flickering darkness, lit mainly by the sparkling bulbs, Hunstanton’s eighth Christmas tree festival sparkled at the weekend.
It was organised by the Hunstanton and District Festival of the Arts with many national and local charities and organisations represented among the 27 trees on display.
National charities such as the RNLI, the RSPCA and Guide Dogs for the Blind, took station alongside such as Hunstanton and District Rotary, the Ladies Inner Wheel, the Scouting and Guiding movements and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust with bucket collections to raise money for the respective organizations.
The Town Hall event ran for three days from the Friday to Sunday, after being opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the town mayor, Adrian Winnington, aided by borough mayor Carol Bower.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the response. There are several new trees and public love this event,” said festival member, Christine Earnshaw who was responsible for the show.
“We’ve had all sorts of wonderful ideas for the trees.”
Many contributors let their imagination run wild. Refill Hunstanton which aims to persuade people to refill their plastic bottles rather than discard them had a tree made entirely of plastic bottles and the detritus discarded on local beaches.
Old Hunstanton lifeboat members produced a tree in the shape of a bow-legged old salt but, perhaps the most eye-catching and inspiring of all was nine-year-old Hannah Burton’s paper-rose covered tree. Hannah, totally self-motivated, took up the challenge last May to make 1,000 paper roses before January 1. To date she has made more than 900, each one taking her 20 minutes, and all of which have been sold for the Children with Cancer charity.
The festival was started by former town clerk, Lisa Powell, in 2010. She handed the job over to Mrs Earnshaw in 2013. Lisa said: “It’s a fantastic show. When I started it we only had about 15 trees.”
Mr Winnington said: “It’s a wonderful festive occasion. There are lots of imaginative trees which demonstrate the talents of the many groups within the town.”