Sunday, 22 November 2009

Ammanford's carnival of lights

The skies of Ammanford will be lit up with a glittering array of lanterns at the start of the town’s Christmas festivities.

Local children are being encouraged to join in lantern-making workshops ahead of the town’s Christmas Carnival on Friday, December 4.

The lanterns will be released in to the night skies before the carnival parade to provide a magical backdrop to the evening’s activities, which include a walking parade and a grand fireworks display.

Father Christmas will also be brought in to town on a horse drawn carriage before he opens his Grotto in the Pensioner’s Hall.

Carmarthenshire and Ammanford Town Band will provide a host of musical entertainment on the night, and a funfair and street entertainers, including balloon modelling and magic and Uncle Sam stilt walker, will provide plenty of fun and games for all the family.

The event is being organised as a partnership between
Carmarthenshire County Council and Ammanford Town Council, and is sponsored this year by national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.

Ammanford Town Mayor Cllr Irena Hopkins, said: "Ammanford Town Council is delighted to be working in partnership with the county council and Taylor Wimpey on this event, which we hope will be an enjoyable occasion for local families.

"We know that Father Christmas is looking forward to meeting children at his grotto at the Pensioner’s Hall, which is always a delightful part of Christmas in

Sara Taylor, sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey South Wales, said: "The Christmas lights switch on is a highlight in
Ammanford's annual calendar and, as part of the local community, we are delighted to be supporting this event.

"Our sponsorship has gone towards offering visitors a choice of fun festive activities designed to make this year's Christmas Carnival even bigger and better than last year's. We look forward to involving the whole town in this event and getting them together to celebrate the season in style!"

The lantern workshops are being held at Gelli Manwydd Hall, Heol Wallsey, on Saturday, November 28, with a number of sessions suitable for all ages being held between 10am and 3pm.

Ammanford Town Council will be awarding prizes for the most impressive lanterns, with a £15 first prize, £10 second prize and £5 third prize.

The children will be asked to attend the carnival on December 4 when the lantern parade will lead the carnival procession.

Cllr Clive Scourfield,
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for leisure and regeneration, said: "What a wonderful way to start a night full of festivities which will herald the start of Christmas in Ammanford.

"I hope children will take part in the workshops and come up with some wonderful creations for the carnival night.

"It has been a pleasure to work with
Ammanford Town Council to organise this event, and we are very grateful to Taylor Wimpey Homes for its sponsorship of the occasion."

For further information on the lantern workshops, or to register for a session, call Emma Stuart on 07854 980 071.

Order of events
5pm: Radio Carmarthenshire kick starts the event with music from its main stage at Lower Quay Street. Funfair begins with catering stalls and street entertainers on hand to get people in to the festive spirit.

7pm: Children gather at the Co-op car park with their lanterns.

7.10pm: Lanterns are released before the walking parade, including community groups, leaves the Co-op car park through Margaret Street and Quay Street.

7.20pm: Carnival parade arrives at lower Quay Street. Ammanford Town Deputy Mayor Ray Cllr Spencer, Father Christmas, the Carnival Queen and her attendant take to the Radio Carmarthenshire stage.

7.25pm: Welcome speech and Christmas lights count-down by Cllr Ray Spencer on main stage

7.30pm: Lights switch-on by the deputy mayor and Carmarthenshire County Council chairman Cllr Tyssul Evans, signalling the start of the grand fireworks display.

7.40pm: Doors open to Santa’s grotto at Ammanford Pensioner’s Hall


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