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Great Christmas event and FREE parking

Christmas in Boston arrives in a dazzle of lights on Thursday night, November 23, and all parking in all Boston Borough Council-run car parks will be free from 4pm onwards on that date.

Hoppers jewellers, who have a shop in Boston Market Place, will sponsor the free parking to help everyone get into town for the big event.

Tim Hopper, of Hoppers Jewellers said: "We felt it was important to encourage as many people and families to attend the Christmas Market and Light Switch On as possible and support the town. Car parking charges are always an issue and we wanted to ensure that everyone gets to appreciate the festivities without having to pay for car parking."

Nathan Bryant, of Christmas in Boston , said: "Christmas is a time for all families and we're excited to be lighting up Boston better than ever before. 

"The opportunity that Hoppers have provided is fantastic and our deepest thanks goes to them for their kind generosity in offering complementary parking for all those coming to town."

Christmas in Boston this yuletide is shaping up to be extra special. As well as the promise of multiple Christmas trees and traditional Christmas lighting from the volunteer group Christmas in Boston and Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC), there will be another Illuminate parade by arts organisation Transported.

This year's lights are set to be switched on during the Christmas Market in the Market Place and following the Illuminate Parade.

Illuminate Workshops 2017 A5 Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

The past two Illuminate parades have been hugely successful, and you can be part of what promises to be another great event. Three free workshops are being held to make lanterns for the parade on Thursday, November 23.

You can book your place for workshops being held at the Geoff Moulder Activity Room from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, October 15, Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22. You can then join the parade with the lantern you have made.

Spaces are limited. Book by emailing Lauren at Transported@litc.org.uk or calling on 01406 701006.

Illuminate 2017 will include innovative light-based artworks reflecting the themes of freedom and liberty in the historic setting of the sweeping Market Place in the centre of the town. Community groups and schools will participate in lantern parades, having worked with artists to produce the lanterns in advance of the festival.

Children from two classes at St Thomas', two from  Boston West and one class each from Wyberton and Wrangle primary schools and Giles Academy have already got involved in creating spectacular new lanterns for the parade.

There are still opportunities for musicians to play in the procession as well, preferably wind or brass instruments - please email Anna.Scott@litc.org.uk to express an interest.

Illuminate is a partnership event organised by Transported, Boston Borough Council and Mayflower 400.  For more information, visit www.transportedart.com and www.mayflower400uk.org.

It celebrates the story of the Pilgrims, which will lead up to the international celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 2020. 

Special memorial lanterns can be bought from Boston Stump to be added to a string of lights in memory of lost loved ones. The lanterns will guide people to St Botolph's Church (Boston Stump) over the festive period.

The lights will be taken down after Christmas and can be collected by those who purchased them to keep. Anyone interested can buy a lantern from the shop in Boston Stump at £20. For every lantern sold, £5 gets donated towards St Botolph's.

Eight cherry blossom trees placed on display at Boston War Memorial in Memorial Gardens will also be sponsored and will be on display for the whole Christmas period. Those who sponsor a tree will have their name mentioned through the Christmas in Boston committee's social media channels and publicity. You can sponsor a tree for £95 by contacting the committee direct.

Children from schools around the borough are being encouraged to enter a poetry competition hosted by Christmas in Boston. The winner of each category will be invited to take part in the Christmas lights switch-on.

CiB has invited school pupils to enter a poetry competition, the title of which is "Christmas in Boston and Me".

Cllr Nigel Welton, BTAC chairman, said: "Both CiB and the BTAC would like to see greater community involvement in what we all hope will be a magical, all inclusive celebration for 2017. I hope pupils from schools all over the borough participate in the competition."

For the first time this year the lights have been split into three sections and a winner from each of three age groups will be asked to switch on an area.

The three age categories are five to seven years, eight to 11 years and over 11 years

Judging will commence the week starting October 23 and anyone interested in joining the judging panel is invited to apply.

For more details please contact Pauline Chapman on 01205 314211 or by email at Pauline.chapman@boston.gov.uk

A Festive Market has also been added to this year's calendar on Sunday, December 17, hosting a free screening of the popular family firm Elf in the Stump in the afternoon.

Cllr Nigel Welton, chairman of Boston Town Area Committee, said: "This shows what I have always believed - that when a community comes together and is determined, great things can be accomplished. The challenge was set for volunteers to come forward to take on the thorny issue of Boston's Christmas lights. We are delighted to have to stand by our offer of match-funding and I cannot thank enough all those who have been working so hard behind the scenes, and the fantastic support they have received from individuals and businesses. Now I look forward to seeing Boston light up for Christmas and congratulating them all over again."

Boston Christmas Market 2017 Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window