Christmas Fest 2023

On the first Tuesday of December each year, Christmas Fest is celebrated, along Poynton’s main road, to mark the beginning of local Christmas festivities, and to encourage the community to embrace the season’s spirit. The annual event allows the public to support local businesses and meet their owners.

The organisers of the annual event commented, ‘The Fest was born from the Poynton Parish Plan Monitoring Group and the first event was held in 2008. It has been held every year since, apart from during the COVID 19 outbreak.’ 
Stalls lined Park Lane on the 5th of December, 2023, from St George’s Church to the Civic Centre car park, selling an array of Christmas foods, decorations and handmade gifts. Most of the high street’s shops opened their doors to the public, who welcomed the warmth and shelter from the wintery night. As usual, Poynton Baptist Church was among those offering family activities. This year, an inflatable gladiator duel was set up in the nave. In the car park adjacent to the Church, a multitude of fair rides had been set up, to pleasure the dauntless of the community, whose screams of delight echoed down the street. The opportunity to meet Father Christmas was one that had to be addressed, so every child in and around Poynton queued giddily by his sleigh, waiting to meet the man who would personally deliver presents to their houses the night of the 24th. 

Poynton’s majestic, twinkling Christmas tree marked the west end of Park Lane, where a performer sang carols, diverse cuisine was served, and members of the Scouting community sold handmade gifts and hot chocolate. At the other end, was a small forest – Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes were for sale. Poynton Youth Brass Band, Vernon Building Society Brass Band and the wonderful samba band performed familiar carols, which were very popular with the crowds, and created the perfect soundtrack for the festive celebration culminating in a spectacular firework display.
It has been 15 years since the first festival, in 2008, and the turnout increases every year. In total, 36 businesses were involved this year, all comprised of local stallholders or established shops from Park Lane. Many sponsored the event, including Just – Ice, Stig’s Barber Shop and Panache One London Road. Having recently recovered from the COVID pandemic, and now suffering from an economic decline, the community use Christmas festivities and celebrations as a respite from these struggles. This is evident by the increasing amount of Christmas decorations and lighting that adorn the village, from streetlamps to shopfronts and windows. Events like Christmas Fest are crucial in keeping spirits high, and the community thriving, especially in times like these. The festive period is not only used as a personal distraction from our own problems, but it can also be a time to help solve those of others. Stalls promoting local charities and community causes made an appearance at Christmas Fest, allowing the public to support the Ollie and Amelia Carroll Foundation (two children within the Poynton community whose family fund raise for Ollie’s Army – Battling Against Batten’s disease). Others included Poynton Parish church, the Women’s Institute, preserve Poynton Pool and Poynton – With – Worth Town Council. The community was encouraged to donate generously to these causes, as well as the Christmas Fest itself, in order to keep the event running for years to come.
Kirstie and Mark Roberts, who have attended the event almost every year since it began, explained ‘Christmas Fest is a wonderful way to kick off the festive season, bringing all aspects of the community together.’