Uckfield Christmas shopping event looks set to be a cracker

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UCKFIELD will don its party hat on Friday, December 9 for the town’s late-night shopping evening.

Co-ordinated by the town’s Chamber of Commerce, the evening will see most shops open until 9pm and staff wearing fancy dress.

Entertainment will be on tap along the High Street. Father Christmas will park his sleigh on the forecourt of Bridge Cottage and looks forward to meeting children and hearing what they would like in their stockings. He will be helped by Uckfield Lions.

For hungry families, there will be a full-scale hog roast set up between Carvills and HSBC bank and lots of shops will be offering customers mince pies, sausage rolls and even mulled wine.

In Civic Approach, Uckfield Baptist Church will be setting up their Get in the Picture Nativity scene where children can be the stars.

The church has a stock of suitable clothes for children so they can dress the part and pose for a free portrait.

The Uckfield FM stage will be up and running throughout the evening where local school pupils will be singing their hearts out. Starting at 5.30pm with the first performance by Framfield Primary School, other schools taking part at half-hourly intervals are Rocks Park, Little Horsted, Harlands, Manor, Holy Cross and UCTC’s Spiritus.

The King’s Church will once again take over the Elizabeth Gardens to stage a live Nativity with sound and light entitled A Step in Time.

In the King’s Church centre – at Grange Road, opposite the Gardens - there will be live story-telling, puppet shows, children’s crafts and refreshments.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice is organising a competition involving a trail of numbered stars being placed in shops with children noting down which stars are in which shops. Stars and forms can be obtained by a £1 donation from the St. Wilfrid’s shop.

Look out also for street entertainment. Chamber of Commerce president, Peter Gale, said: “Late-night shopping has become one of the highlights of Uckfield’s social calendar. It’s a chance for everyone to enjoy Christmas spirit as they look around the wide range of shops and be entertained on the streets.