Holmfirth’s white Christmas > UK

Holmfirth will be switching on to a white Christmas this Saturday.

Snow from now until until New Year has been virtually guaranteed in a spectacular £30,000 revamp of the town’s festive illuminations.

Rock legend Bill Wyman, one of the original Rolling Stones now playing with his own band The Rhythm Kings, will officially switch on the new look Christmas lights at 4.30pm on Saturday.

And throughout the day around the town centre there will be special festive attractions including a Christmas market, carol singers, hog roast, cookery demonstration by Huddersfield Technical College chefs, ‘Christmas meat’ demonstration by valley butcher Brindon Addy and all the fun of the fair.

As the illuminations flicker into life, all eyes will be on the skies with organisers promising a breathtaking finale to the afternoon’s festivities. Victoria Street will be magically transformed with a luminous ceiling of around 5,500 white lights creating the effect of a snowy night sky. And the entire town centre will be aglow with several new features which have been professionally designed and installed to comply with current health and safety legislation.

Holme Valley Business Association, the local chamber of trade – hope the new look ‘Lights Fantastic’ will bring local and visiting shoppers to Holmfirth in droves throughout December. First time visitors are delighted to discover a town of many treasures. Unlike many larger towns, Holmfirth has retained much of its traditional character with distinctive and appealing shops – the perfect antidote to those faceless town centres dominated by the same few big name chain stores.

Take a stroll around Holmfirth and you will find independent retailers, many of whom who have been trading here for decades, priding themselves of the quality of their goods and service to the customer. The fresh new look for the Christmas lights has been achieved as part of a long-term campaign by the business association. Much of the effort has gone into raising funds to bring in ‘outside’ professional expertise.

The virtual snow storm over Victoria Street has been created by Leeds Lights, part of Leeds City Council. Designer Chantelle Stewart has created bespoke motifs featuring blue and white star and swirl designs for 29 lamp posts. Other impressive features will be provided by the Thongsbridge-based company DFX Lighting. These include: multi-coloured lights alongside the river in front of the Old Bridge Hotel, traditional Christmas lights and festoons in Norridge Bottom, Christmas tree lights next to the parish church and at the top of Victoria Street. For the first time, the winter wonderland will include festive lighting for more than 100 town shops and businesses.

The Christmas market is open on Saturday and Sunday (November 25-26) and there’s plenty to see and do in Holmfirth not just on the day of switch-on but right through the festive season.

By investing in new displays, with the promise of more to come next year, Holmfirth should easily retain its long-held reputation as the Christmas Lights capital of the South Pennines.