Otley Christmas Tree Festival 2019

Otley Christmas Tree Festival 2019

The festival's host building, Otley Parish Church, was subject to major renovation works throughout 2015 and any visitors who missed last years festival will notice a considerable difference with the building again set to produce an exciting and spectacular setting for the colourful and vibrant display.

Accordingly, this year we will welcome a handful of new entrants with Friends of Otley Lido, cancer charity Pink Events, Otley Knitting Group and Otley Parish Church Bell Ringers, collecting for bell repairs and Yorkshire Children's Hospitals Christmas Gift Appeal all offering their uniquely decorated trees to view.

Programme of Musical Events for 2019 (Times and Performances may vary) - Please click here to download the 2019 Programme.

Wed 11th Dec
12 Noon: Grand Opening with Guiseley Brass Band and friends
1.15pm - 2.00pm: St Joseph's School Choir (Reception and Year 6)
2.00pm - 3.00pm: The Whartons School Choir

Thur 12th Dec
10.00am - 11:00am: St Joseph's (Years 1, 2 and 4)
10.30am - 11.00am: St Joseph's Year 3
11.00am - 12.00pm: Courthouse Choir
1.00pm - 1.30pm: Courthouse Choir
1.45pm - 2.15pm: The Whartons School Choir
3.00pm: Signing For Pleasure
5.00pm: Byrds and Gibbons

Fri 13th Dec
10.00am: Martin Campey (organ)
11.00am: All Saints School Choir
2.30pm- 3.00pm: St Joseph's School Choir (Year 3 and 5)
3.30pm: Chevin Handbell Ringers
4.00pm: Brass Group
7.00pm: Chippendale Singers and Westgate School Choir Concert (tickets)

Sat 14th Dec
10.30am: Mary and Zoe (Violin duets)
11-30am: Sally Barnes' Madrigal Singers
r3.00pm - 3.30pm: Madrigalis
4.00pm: The Collective
5.00pm: Elizabeth Keefe

Sun 15th Dec
After the 4th day festival the trees will remain in church, open to visitors after the 10am Sunday service

4.00pm: Christmas Tree Carol Service
6.15pm: Yan Tan Tether (free concert)

Otley Christmas Tree Festival twinkles again

OTLEY'S Parish Church is preparing to host another dazzling Christmas Tree Festival.

The ninth Otley Christmas Tree Festival will again light up early December.

A record forty three trees, donated by Stephen H. Smith's garden centre, will again be installed inside All Saints Parish Church, Kirkgate and a selection of local charities and community groups invited to decorate a tree each in their own theme.

The lovely family event, an antidote to the usual commercialism of Christmas, will this year be opened to the public at midday on Wednesday 11th December by Otley Bellman, Terry Ford accompanied by a selection from Guiseley Brass Band with the trees twinkling until around 6pm. The festival will then run daily from10am-6pm until the evening of Saturday 14th December.

Although free to enter visitors might like to drop a few coins in the bucket of the ones they like best. Around 5,000 is raised each year by the local groups for good causes and an estimated total exceeding 35,000 since the festival's inception.

New groups decorating this year include Behind Closed Doors, Hearing Dogs For Deaf People, Otley Welcomes and Wildlife Friendly Otley

Musical performances will include St Jospephs, Whartons and Ashfield school choirs, the Courthouse Choir, Byrds and Gibbons, Singing For Pleasure, Marin Campey (organ) Chevin Handbell Ringers, Mary & Zoe (violin duets), Madrigal Singers and debuts from choir The Collective and pianist Elizabeth Keefe.

In addition to the variety of daily live musical performances will be an evening concert at 7pm on Friday by the Chippendale Singers and Westgate Primary School Choir (admission by ticket)

After the festival finishes the trees will remain in place for the church's Christmas Tree Carol Service on Sunday at 4pm followed by a free concert by local female folk trio, Yan Tan Tether.

Organizer Helen Wilkinson said, "After eight years the festival has grown from nothing to being one of the events that heralds Christmas, following on from the Victorian Fayre. Many people tell us that the festival marks the beginning of Christmas for them. We would love to see visitors, young and old, come and enjoy the display and enjoy some Christmas cheer around Otley's shops and town.

With over 3,000 visitors last year the much anticipated event grows year on year so visitors are encouraged to attend as often as they like and might find the festival less crowded earlier in the week as the Saturday is particularly busy.

Last year our visitors book included, Castleford, Wakefield, Ripon, York, Cumbria, Sunderland, London, Perth (Australia) and the USA.

Most Christmas trees are topped by a star or angel but last year ours also included a guide dog, a poppy, a daffodil and a horseshoe.

For a bit of fun we held a vote for the best tree last year. The overwhelming winner was the tree decorated by the then Otley Town Mayor's Charity, Mary Vickers which was themed Christmas In The Jungle, with honourable mentions to the Women's Institute 'Street Angels', Guide Dogs and Pink Events

A lovely gesture arrived in the form of two biscuit tins full of coppers, collected over the year and donated anonymously by a gentleman who dropped them in on Wednesday as we were setting up. Throughout the festival we gave a handful to children to put in the collecting tubs."

For more information contact Helen and Tim Wilkinson, Dowgill House, Otley 01943 850836