Enjoy the magic of Christmas with Stockton Sparkles: here's all the fun still to come!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Stockton Sparkles gets well underway - and there's plenty more to enjoy in the coming weeks!
Here's all the fun still to come with our fabulous four-week festival...
Gifts galore at Sparkles Christmas Market
The winter wonderland cabins of Sparkles Christmas Market are springing up on Stockton High Street and from Thursday 2 until Sunday 5 December will offer a wealth of tasty treats and festive goodies from local artists, makers and traders.
Come and support your local charities and voluntary organisations as the Borough's Community Partnerships host a cabin at the Christmas Market. Find out more about the work of our partners, support community fundraising and browse homemade crafts and gifts.
Festive entertainment for all in the Spiegeltent
This week also sees the return of the popular Spiegeltent, offering a packed programme of festive entertainment for all the family from Thursday to Sunday 5 December. There's free family activities and crafts by day and three nights of ticketed live music and cabaret shows at night, in partnership with Ku Stockton.
Daytime highlights include a 1950s Tea Dance on Thursday from 2pm to 4pm featuring a mix of Latin, 50s Swing, Jive, Mambo and Salsa - suitable for all ages/levels of experience. Or grab a nice hot chocolate from the Christmas Market and settle down for any of three festive story time sessions for younger ones on Thursday at 10am to 10.30am, 10.45am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12noon.
On Friday parents and carers can take their under-5s along to enjoy some Christmas theatre with Orville the Owl from 10am to 10.30am, 10.45am to 11.15am and 11.30am to 12noon. In the afternoon catch some entertaining off the wall family cabaret with gentleman juggler and street performer Matt Pang from 2pm to 2.30pm.
At the weekend the kids can flex their creative muscles in the Spiegeltent, starting with Christmas Crafts on Saturday, including workshops from Morwenna Cat and Peg Creations. Drop in from 9am to 1.30pm (last entry is 1pm). Then on Sunday join Peg Creations from 11am to 3pm (last entry 2.30pm) to create your very own lantern to take along to the Reindeer Lantern Parade later in the day.
All of the daytime events are free and you can just drop in.
For the grown-ups the evening shows will see More Commitments play the Spiegeltent on Thursday, with Black Cat Cabaret bringing a festive feast of variety on Friday, and soul and funk band Smoove & Turrell playing on Saturday. Tickets - including the option to buy seats in a booth for four to six people - are on sale now from www.arconline.co.uk (tickets for evening performances are over 18s only).
Feel the magic of Christmas with the Reindeer Lantern Parade
Five beautiful Cairngorm reindeers will lead the popular reindeer parade down Stockton High Street accompanied by Santa and his elves on Sunday from 4pm followed by local schoolchildren and community groups. Don't miss this dazzling display of colour and light featuring lanterns for the first time this year, as well as fabulous stilt walkers and puppets.
Join family and friends for a community Christmas singalong
Stockton High Street will resound with a special Christmas singalong on Saturday 11 December from 10am to 3pm, with interactive street theatre and an array of music, including a community choirs performance.
Get your last minute gifts and treats at the Christmas Eve Traditional Market
Shop at the Christmas Eve market on Stockton High Street from 9am until 2.30pm on Friday 24 December.
What do councillors think?
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: "Our popular winter festival got off to a glittering start last week with thousands of people turning out for the annual Christmas lights switch-on and a fantastic launch night packed full of entertainment.
"But there is so much more on offer for residents and visitors alike as the countdown to Christmas continues with Stockton Sparkles. So wrap up warm and make sure you don't miss any of it!"