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VISIT HELMSLEY NEWS • Updated , 9:49 pm

Angels descend on Heavenly Helmsley as plans for Small Business Saturday revealed

3rd December promises five hours of festive fun and the launch of month-long Angel Festival

Final plans have been released for the much-anticipated events being held in the award-winning town of Helmsley in the run up to Christmas.

‘Five hours of festive fun’ will see the town come alive for Small Business Saturday on 3rd December, with businesses working together to create fun, games and activities for all the family. Running from 10.15am until 3.15pm, Ryedale District Council have reduced car parking charges at Cleveland Way to all day for just £1.50.

With a schedule as full as Santa’s sack, highlights include book signings from two famous authors, proclamations from the newly appointed town crier, animal displays, brass bands, choirs, a temporary ice rink at the Black Swan Hotel, fancy dress, rides including a Christmas Pudding ‘rodeo’ and swing boats, games, and food tastings.

The event also marks the start of the town’s very first Angel Festival, which will see Helmsley taken over by hordes of heavenly angels until the Twelfth Night. To launch the event on December 3rd, there will be a special #helmsangels competition, where people are invited to dress up or decorate their bike, mobility scooter, wheelchair or pet in an angel theme to win prizes. A town-wide search for a missing angel – Rory – also encourages visitors to snap a selfie with the cheeky chap, and send it to the town via social media (@VisitHelmsley) for the chance to win.

Collections are also starting for the second phase of a campaign to help Ryedale Food Bank replenish its stock during the hard winter months. Donations of soup, sponge puddings, tins of potatoes or instant mash, UHT Juice, tinned meat, toiletries and hot water bottles will be gratefully received at any Helmsley in Business member.

Carolyn Frank, chair of Helmsley in Business and owner of Libby Butler Jewellers, said: “This is the fourth Small Business Saturday, and every year our celebrations of it get bigger and better! As a town full of independent businesses, we love the concept behind the day, and encouraging people to support what’s based on their doorstep. On 3rd December, we make that easier than ever by creating a great festive fun day, which will keep the whole family entertained while you do a spot of Christmas shopping or treat yourself to a hot chocolate or bite to eat. We’re also very excited to be launching our very first Angel Festival which will run right through until January. It will make the town even more sparkling than usual!”

Small Business Saturday – 3rd December

10.15am: Town Crier

10.30 – 11am: Community Choir

11am – #helmsangels competition – prizes for the best Angel Fancy dress – decorate your mobility scooter, pet, husband or bike in the #helmsangels theme

11.15am – 12noon: Swinton Brass Band

12noon: Book signing with the Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton, at Claridges

12noon – 3pm: Entertainment mini stage in the market place, with Adam Collier’s Yorkshire Dialect stories, busking, ukuleles and brass band carols

1.30pm: Book signing of ‘Deadly Diplomacy’ with local crime writer Jean Harrod at Cut Price Books

2- 3pm: Father Christmas on his sleigh, thanks to Ryedale Lions

2.30pm: Snow White – the Helmsley Arts Centre Panto matinee performance (tickets on sale now)

3.15pm: Close with Town Crier.

Throughout the day:

  • Christmas Pudding “rodeo” competition – £1 to enter, or free to try
  • Admire the hosts of Angels as the town’s month-long Angel Festival begins
  • “Where’s Rory?” angel hunt photo competition #helmsangels
  • Angel halo hooping game
  • Angel wishing tree for those we miss at Christmas
  • Take your photo with the award-winning Town Crier from Dad’s Army
  • Pop-up Ice rink & outdoors mulled wine bar at the Black Swan Hotel
  • Otterburn Mangalitzas – come and see the famous hairy pigs & meat also available for sale
  • Pet the alpacas
  • Warm up in the Community Library where kids’ activities will take place all morning
  • Head to the Helmsley Walled Garden stand for green-fingered tips
  • Help those in need this Christmas by donating to the Ryedale Food Bank collections
  • Vintage tractors
  • Giant buzz wire game £1 to enter for quickest pass, or free to try
  • Balloon tombola £1 a go and jam jar tombola 50p a go
  • Swing boats
  • Marley’s BBQ
  • Duncombe Sawmill display area with wooden Christmas decorations to decorate and a traditional Finnish wooden game to play
  • In-store promotions, “try before you buy” tastings and sipping’s, demonstrations, complimentary refreshments, competitions & angel displays across Helmsley’s many small businesses

Entry to the event is free and all are welcome to join in the fun

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