STAPLE Hill traders are gearing up to celebrate the start of the festive season.
Christmas on the Hill will include music, fairground rides, crafts, stories and activities, as well as a market in Fountain Square.
And to close the event on December 2 there will be an official switch-on for Fountain Square’s Christmas tree, with carol singing accompanied by the Salvation Army band.
The event in Broad Street and the High Street, which runs from 10am to 5pm, has been coordinated by Staple Hill Chamber of Trade, and secretary Tina Lewis says this year’s event has a mix of traditional and new attractions.
For the first time some traders will be handing out sweets to children and the young at heart who wear a Christmas hat to the event – the shops and stalls taking part will have a sign to show people where to come.
There will be fairground rides outside HG Harris and Dream Cafe in Broad Street, a visit from Father Christmas and storytime sessions from noon to 3pm.
Staple Hill Library will host free children’s Christmas crafts and a book sale, and is staying open later than usual, until 4pm.
Music performances in Fountain Square start at noon and continue at 1pm and 2pm, featuring Tynings Primary School, Mangotsfield Primary School and the Great Day Choir.
The Salvation Army-led carol singing will start at 4pm, after the lights are switched on by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who are special guests of Bunch florist in the square, raising money for the Jessie May charity.
The market in Fountain Square will include crafts, soap, jewellery, sweets and a variety of food including doughnuts, vegan and regular cakes.
There will also be outdoor exercise classes outside the gym opposite, hot mulled apple juice at Nom Wholefoods, a new shop opening on the High Street, a tombola, Friends of Page Park calendar sale and charity stalls.