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Go (nut)crackers for Christmas in Helmsley

Helmsley announces plans for festive fun including Small Business Saturday celebrations, the sixth annual Christmas Tree Festival and two special Nutcracker Trails

Plans have started to be announced for the much anticipated festive activities to be held in Helmsley – with this year promising to be the biggest and best yet.

As always, the town, led by the Helmsley in Business group, will be supporting Small Business Saturday, which falls on 1st December, with a day of family-friendly activities to thank local residents for their support, and welcome new visitors to the town.

The event will run from 10am to 4pm and Ryedale District Council have kindly agreed to allow the takeover of half the Market Place car park for activity to centre around. All day car parking in the Cleveland Way car park will be reduced to just £1.50.

One of the key activities for 2018 will be a giant Nutcracker Trail taking place across the town. Ten six and a half feet tall wooden nutcrackers will be hidden throughout Helmsley, all waiting to be found for the chance to win a prize. Other fun things taking place include a giant inflatable snow globe – ideal for getting inside and taking a selfie; a DJ from Great Yorkshire Radio providing music and entertainment; Santa’s Grotto; buskers and entertainers; food and drink tastings from businesses including Hunters, Thomas’, Porters and La Trattoria; a festive barbecue by the Fabulous Meat and Fish Co; the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Fire Brigade and Mountain Rescue organisations; wreath making with Helmsley Walled Garden; arts and crafts including silk flowers and canvas making; and stalls from organisations including the WI, Helmsley Primary School and the Scouts. Individual businesses will also be running their own activities and special offers.

To add to the festivities the Helmsley Arts Centre will be launching its 2018 pantomime – Red Riding Hood – to coincide with Small Business Saturday, with a matinee and evening performance available.

Helmsley will also be running its popular Christmas Tree Festival for the sixth year. Individually decorated trees along the theme of ‘The best of Helmsley’ will be displayed in All Saints Church from 1st December to 16th December. Different organisations and businesses throughout the town will take a tree each and compete for theirs to be crowned the best decorated tree of 2018 by public vote.

To further continue the festivities, although the giant Nutcrackers can only visit Helmsley for the day, a Nutcracker Window Trail will take place until Christmas Eve. Can you follow the trail around town and find them all?

Katie Atkinson, deputy chair of Helmsley in Business and owner of KVA Planning, said: “We are delighted to be planning a full on festive fun day for Helmsley, to celebrate Small Business Saturday. As a town bursting with so many wonderful independent businesses we want to champion what they bring to the town – and say thank you to everyone who has supported them this year. The day promises to be full of fun, with lots to do and see for families wanting to get into the festive spirit, or people looking to pick up their Christmas shopping. There’s always a wonderful atmosphere in Helmsley around Christmas, and the Christmas Tree Festival really adds to that, and is always very popular with local people and visitors alike. We will also have the exciting Nutcracker Trail for the first time this year – both the giant and the mini ones – which should be fun for everyone, and provide some great photo opportunities!”