Leeds town prepares for annual Christmas Tree Festival

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Otley is gearing up for its seventh annual Christmas Tree Festival next month.

Forty trees, donated by Stephen H. Smiths garden centre, are installed inside All Saints Parish Church on Kirkgate.

A selection of local charities and community groups have been invited to decorate a tree each in their own theme.

This year’s display will be opened to the public at midday on Wednesday, December 6.

The festival will then run daily from 10am-6pm until Saturday, December 9.

A spokesperson said: “With over 5,000 visitors last year the much anticipated event grows year on year.

“Amongst the forty groups decorating this year are some usual favourites such as the Royal British Legion, Otley In Bloom and Otley Beer Festival with debuts from the Yorkshire Animal Shelter, Otley Welcomes, PDSA, Airborough Inner Wheel Club and the Donkey Sanctuary.

“The Thursday of the twinkling array also coincides with late night opening for many of Otley’s shops; another reason to come into town and visit.

“Although free to enter visitors might like to drop a few coins in the bucket of the ones they like best.

“Around £5,000 was raised by the local groups for good causes last year.”

Musical performances are scheduled by, amongst others, Chevin Handbell Ringers, the Sally Barnes Madrigal choir, Mary and Zoe Violin Duets, Woolpack Social Music Group, Otley A Capella Choir, Otley Ukulele Orchestra and St Joseph, and The Whartons school choirs.

After the festival finishes the trees will remain in place for the church’s Christmas Tree Carol Service on Sunday.

For more info, visit otleychristmastreefestival.co.uk.