Otley Christmas Tree Festival 2016

Otley Christmas Tree Festival 2017

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 2017

Wed 6th Dec
12noon approx - Guiseley Brass Band
2.00pm - St Joseph's School Choir
3.30pm - Woolpack Music Social Club

Thur 7th Dec
am - Neil Marsden (Guitar)
Organ Recital
2.30pm - All Saints School Choir
5-6pm - Courthouse Choir

Fri 8th Dec

10-11am - Martin Campey at the keyboard

11am - The Whartons School Choir
1.30pm - Courthouse Choir
2.30pm - Neil Marsden (Guitar)
7.00pm - Concert by Chippendale Singers with Westgate School Choir (tickets 5 from Jan Wilkinson 01943 461318)

Sat 9th Dec
10.30am - Fairfax Singers
12 and 1pm Courthouse Choir
2.30pm - Chevin Handbell Ringers
3.30pm Sally Barnes and the Madrigal Choir
5pm - Otley A Capella Choir

Otley Christmas Tree Festival gears up for another bumper year

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

More than 40 specially decorated trees will feature in this year's event, the town's sixth, which is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Once again organised by Otley Chamber of Trade member and former president Tim Wilkinson, the 2017 festival will run from Wednesday, December 7 to Saturday, December 10.

Dozens of charities and community groups will be taking part by 'dressing' a tree and placing a donation box underneath, while a variety of live music will complement the proceedings over the four days.

Mr Wilkinson said: "The first five years of the event have really caught the imagination.

"For the first time last year we were able to assess the number of visitors by using an electronic footfall counter borrowed from Otley BID which showed that about 5,000 people attended last year despite the terrible weather, far more than we had assessed before.

"Last year was also a little different in that the church, which kindly hosts the event, had been refurbished so the space was bigger and the new surroundings for the tree display and the musical performances were more spectacular than ever.

"The Saturday of the festival is usually extremely busy so we would suggest that visitors who are able to come along earlier in the week might do that, and then come again if they like it!"

The Wednesday, opening day viewing at Otley All Saints will run from noon to 6pm.

After that the festival will be open daily from 10am to 6pm up to its conclusion on the Saturday evening.

Mr Wilkinson added: "Although free to enter visitors might like to drop a few coins in the bucket of the ones they like best.

"This year features festival newcomers 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.

"The festival opens at noon on Wednesday with a ceremonial tinsel cutting by Otley Bellman Terry Ford, accompanied by a selection of tunes from Guiseley Brass Band."

There will be further musical performances over the four days b: the Madrigal Choir; Chevin Handbell Ringers; Otley A Capella Choir; St Joseph's School Choir; Woolpack Music Social Club; Neil Marsden (on guitar); an organ recital; All Saints School Choir; Courthouse Choir; Martin Campey (on keyboard); The Whartons School Choir and Fairfax Singers.

There will also be a 7pm concert on Friday, December 9 featuring Chippendale Singers and Westgate Primary School - admission 5.

The trees will still be on show on Sunday, December 10 when the church will be open to visitors following its Sunday Service and will hold a Christmas Tree Carols Service at 4pm.

That will be followed at 6pm by a free concert from local folk trio Yan Tan Tether.

Jim Jack - The Wharfedale Oberver