COMMUNITY organisers in Eastcote are promising to stage the biggest Christmas festival in Hillingdon – and perhaps even north-west London.
The town is building on the success of last year’s event, when businesses and residents helped raise £18,000 for half-a-mile of Christmas lights and a market and fair that attracted thousands.
In the last 12 months, organisers have formed the Eastcote Festival Team, which is applying for charitable status. They have spent another £12,000 on lights, and hope to stage an even bigger festival on Sunday, December 4.
Spokesman Ian Parkinson said: “We have got tremendous local support from residents, businesses and local councillors. It came together because the feedback we got for last year was so positive.
“It naturally brought together a group of people who were committed to improve the profile of our town and unite the different aspects of our community – residents, charities, business, churches – and bring them together in a common objective.”
Attractions on the day will include a display by London Motor Museum, live bands, children’s storytelling at Eastcote Library, a carol service, an RSPCA fashion show and a candlelight parade.
But there will be no celebrity lights switch-on, following last year’s failure by EastEnders actors to arrive in time because local roads were jammed. “We are deliberately not having a celebrity to switch on the lights,” said Mr Parkinson. “We have Santa Claus instead.”
The display itself now stretches from Southbourne Gardens to The Forresters, and will go up to Black Horse Parade if enough money is raised.
“Our budget for the whole festival is £25,000 and £12,000 is being spent on more Christmas lights,” added Mr Parkinson. “Eastcote station will be lit up like Harrods.
“Given the enthusiasm from all over the borough to celebrate Christmas, I am sure this year’s event will be something particularly special.”
To see the programme of events, visit www.eastcotefestival.co.uk.