GALLERY: Thousands turn out to Hitchin Christmas Tree Festival

CHRISTMAS cheer was in the air at the weekend, with thousands left in awe at the longest running Christmas tree festival in the area.

About 50 trees decorated by community groups were on display at the 16th Hitchin Christmas Tree Festival.

More than 2,000 people were at the event in Holy Saviour Church, with organisers predicting they raised about �7,000.

Organiser Clare Fleck said: “A lot of the same people come every year and say it really starts their Christmas. Then there’s people who live in Hitchin visiting for the first time, and there’s the intake of breath as they come in.

“It gives a lot of happiness and enjoyment – people come in and look around, or sit down and listen to the music.

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“It was a very successful festival.”

Patience Pascal won both the individual and visitors’ vote categories, while Christchurch ECO Group came away with the gold in the adults’ groups and business category, and Wilshere-Dacre Art Club won the children’s category.

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As well as the displays, there were performances from school choirs and other local music groups, and lunches, teas and refreshments on sale.

�1,000 of the proceeds from the weekend-long festival will be divided between North Herts CAB and The Growing People Horticultural Therapy Programme.

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