Decorators at this year’s Bedford Christmas Tree Festival have really taken the theme to heart, celebrating Christmas and traditions in countries across the world but making each tree entirely individual.
Flags and globes are everywhere and the great mix of nationalities living in and around Bedford are represented in 70 trees filling the great historic church of St Paul, at the festival which opened today, December 5 and runs until Sunday, December 9.
Many decorators have researched traditions across the world. You’ll spot ‘Happy Christmas’ spelt in numerous different languages.
Look closely and you’ll find all manner of ideas, some prepared over many months: Knit & Natter with their wise men travelling from the East, shepherds from the Holy Land and carol singers from the UK while Lemon & Ginger have knitted flags in the shape of stockings and hot air balloons.
Schools have held competitions to choose the best themes. Queens Park Academy features flags for the 25 nationalities represented at the school. Acorn Transport have chosen the 2018 World Cup for their theme showing flags from all participating nations.
Bedford Heritage, whose members include Bedfordshire Archives and Bunyan Museum, feature topical texts and translations in many languages.
Women from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre visited by Befrienders have decorated baubles with traditions from their many countries.
There are two competitions including photography. A total of 30 choirs and two dance groups perform across the week while tickets for the magical Festival Concert on Friday, December 7, have almost sold out. Bring your friends and family and enjoy a catch up over coffee and cakes.
Help to raise over £10,000 to be shared between Bedford Hospital Charity and St Paul’s Church.
The festival is open Wednesay to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday, noon to 4pm. Admission is £2.50, under 16 free.