Your bumper guide to this Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and so readers can make the most of the festive season this year we have put together a comprehensive guide to events in the Dereham and Fakenham areas.

Christmas is fast approaching and so readers can make the most of the festive season this year we have put together a comprehensive guide to events in the Dereham and Fakenham areas.

For everything from Santas grottos to Christmas craft fairs, see below.

t Friday, December 27

Christmas Bingo at Fakenham Community Centre, eyes down 7.30pm, proceeds to the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Includes raffle, mince pies, tea and coffee.

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t Saturday, November 28

Fakenham Christmas Lights switch-on runs from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, with the switch on at 5pm. There will be fairground rides, DJ presenter, music, live performance including pantomime, craft stalls, carol singing, fun and games, refreshments and food available and grand prize raffle. Fakenham Market Place will be closed to traffic between noon and about 6pm for the event.

Kings Park Pre-School is holding it's annual Christmas Fayre on Saturday 28th November at Kings Park Infant School, off Kings Road, Dereham from 2pm until 4pm. There will be a variety of stalls including tombola, lucky crackers, cakes & Father Christmas. Entrance is 50p for adults, children free.

Norfolk Christmas Trees shop opens in Reepham from today until December 23 daily from 9am to 5pm and on December 24 from 9am to 1pm. It is on the B1145 between Reepham and Cawston.

A Handel, Haydn Celebration by the Mid Norfolk Singers at St Nicholas Church, Dereham, from 7.30pm, tickets �7.50 (�4 for under 16s). Programme will include Handel, Dixit Dominus, and Haydn, Nelson Mass.

Fakenham Craft Market: A selection of locally made crafts and collectables. Refreshments available. 10am to 3pm at Fakenham Parish Church.

Lighting-up party at North Elmham Memorial Hall at 3pm. Adults �1, children free, there will be Father Christmas, refreshments and stalls.

Gift Fair and Santa's Grotto at Dereham Memorial Hall, 10am to 3pm.

This annual event will be full of local crafts people and other gift stalls, all selling ideal presents for Christmas. Let the children visit Santa in his Grotto (which is run by The Dereham Lions Charity) and have their photo taken by local photographer Haydn Rogers. Then pop into the tea room for a hot cuppa and mince pie for only �1.

A Christmas Fayre is being held at Fred Nicholson School, Westfield Road, Toftwood, Dereham, from 2pm to 4pm.

Scarning Village Hall is holding a grand Christmas fair from 10am to 4pm with cakes, preserves, gifts, books, jewellery, pictures and more plus refreshments. Proceeds to Scarning church.

t Sunday, November 29

Dereham Christmas lights switch on. There will be a skating rink, a fun fair and Santa will be in Barclays Bank. There will also be charity stalls, stalls selling Christmas wreaths, stalls selling cakes, biscuits and more. For those wanting a bite to eat there will be a barbeque, hog roast, coffee and tea. Live music is being provided by a number of local groups. Upstairs in the council chamber at the Assembly Rooms there will be craft stalls. It all starts at 1pm with Santa about from 2pm and the switch on at 4.30pm.

A party is being held to show appreciation for the volunteers who keep Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum open to visitors. Bishop Conner's Cottage Museum will hold a special Christmas opening to coincide with the Christmas Lights switch on event in Dereham. It will be open from 2pm to 4pm with a tour of the museum and a warming glass of mulled wine and a mince pie for visitors. Admission is �2 per adult, children free.

An advent carol service will be held at All Saints church, Litcham at 4pm.

The Little Vintage Lover Fair is holding a special Christmas event in Burnham Market with more than 40 stalls of vintage clothing, accessories, kitchenalia, and textiles circa 1900's-1980's.There will also be vintage handmade stalls selling beautiful handmade items using vintage fabric. Perfect gifts for Christmas, not forgetting great music and festive refreshments. It is open 11am-5pm, �1 entry or 50p students with student card, free for children.

From Darkness to Light, a candlelit procession towards advent at Fakenham Parish church from 6.30pm.

A new Christmas card depicting Fakenham Parish Church's 2008 Christmas Tree festival will go on sale, produced by willow Tree Printing, at the church bookshop. They will be on sale along with others at the church on Thursdays as well as when there are church events. The bookshop is open every day of the week from 10am to 3pm.

Reepham's St Michael's Church: Advent carol service from 4pm.

t Wednesday, December 2

The annual Christmas in Reepham event will see Father Christmas and possibly even his wife roll into town at 6pm to turn on the lights. Shops in the town will be opening late, there will be charity stalls in the Market Place, a hog roast, refreshments, silly hat competition and more.

Reepham: Melton House Gallery in Market Place is re-opening after a refit. As part of the town's traditional Christmas in Reepham event from 6pm, visitors are invited to the stylish new gallery to enjoy regional and seasonal canap�s with a glass of festive cheer. There will be an exhibition of landscape photographs from renowned local photographer, Ian Aitken.

t Thursday, December 3

Fakenham Parish Church will hold its ninth annual Christmas Tree Festival from 3-10 December, 10am-8pm. Last year the event attracted 20,000 people and raised more than �21,000 for charities. This year, 74 organisations will be taking part, decorating 80 trees to encourage donations from visitors. There will also be a Christmas Bazaar and a seasonal prize draw and tombola. Entrance to the Festival is free but please bring a bag of coins to place at the charity trees of your choice. Inside there will be a Christmas Bazaar selling a wide range of Christmas goods; also refreshments, a tombola and a grand draw. Prayers will be said on the hour for the charities and there will be two Prayer Trees where you can write a prayer of your own. More information at or 01328 862268.

Shipdham's third Christmas Tree Festival is being held from December 3 to 6 at All Saints Church. Get into the Christmas spirit, enjoy the wonderfully decorated trees and donate to help out many local charities. Open 12noon to 8pm except Saturday 5, 2pm to 5pm, and Sunday 6, noon to 4pm with carols amongst the Christmas trees at 4pm. Cafe Saints open noon to 2pm for hot rolls and soup and from 5.30pm to 7.30pm for jacket potatoes. Tea and coffee available throughout. For bookings and more information contact: Liz Ralph on 01362 821528

t Friday, December 4

Dereham Lions Club is holding a Christmas Party and high tea at Northgate High School from 5.30pm. There will be entertainment, raffle, music, singing and dancing. All senior citizens welcome. For more information call Vic on 01362 850826.

Christingle service at St Mary's Church, Tittleshall, 6.30pm.

Christmas Concert by Dereham Salvation Army Band at 7.30pm at East Tuddenham Village hall. Admission �5 (includes refreshments) on the door. Raffle and proceeds to the village hall. The event will also support the Salvation Army Toys and Tins appeal - people are welcome to take donations.

Pottery maker Ruthanne Tudball is holding a Christmas Open Weekend on December 4, 5, 6, (Fri - Sun) from 10am to 6pm each day. There will be new work as well as slight seconds/old stock at reduced prices. Mince pies and mulled wine will also be available at the Temple Barn Pottery, Solomon's Temple, at Welborne, near Mattishall. Telephone 01362 858770 or go to

t Saturday, December 5

Mid Norfolk Railway's Santa and Mince pie specials run from December 5 to January 1. Santa Specials depart from Dereham from December 5 to December 24 and from Wymondham from December 5 to December 20. Santa Special tickets are �10, infants �3, which includes return trip, mince pie and refreshments and a trip to Santa and a gift for children under 14 years old. Mince Pie specials run from December 27 to January 1. Sherry and mince pies will be served along the return trip with soft drinks and chocolate novelties for children. Adults �8, children �4.50. Booking advisable on 01362 851723.

Tittleshall Village Hall Christmas Fair from 10am to noon with everything from pick a peg to books, cakes, good as new and a raffle. Refreshments available.

Christmas bingo Bawdeswell Village Hall doors open 7pm. Light refreshments will be available and raffle. All proceeds raised will be donated to the Bawdeswell Badgers Pre-School Charity no: 1022356. Sorry no children under the age of nine. Should anyone wish to donate a prize for this event then please contact Claire Boer 01362 688415.

Christmas Wreaths and other Seasonal Goodies will be on sale in All Saints Church, Bawdeswell. Refreshments, Art Exhibition and More. Orders are being taken now for the wreaths - phone Sue Lilwall on 01362 688240 to avoid disappointment.

Deepdale Christmas Market Saturday, December 5, to Sunday, December 6, 10am to 4pm. Stock up on all those Christmas decorations and presents at the Deepdale Christmas Market, while enjoying plenty of festive cheer. Deepdale Christmas Market takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm at Dalegate Market, the busy shopping centre in Burnham Deepdale on the beautiful north Norfolk coast. Come enjoy breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea at Deepdale Cafe and do your Christmas shopping while you are there. The shops of Dalegate Market will be open, including Little Giggles Traditional Toy and Gift Shop, BloominGorgeous Florists, Fat Face Clothing and Leftleys Costcutter Supermarket. There will also be stalls of all kinds offering Christmas goodies, presents and decorations. Saturday evening, 4pm to 6pm, there will be Christmas Carols featuring Hunstanton Concert Band and other festive activities. Deepdale Backpackers and Camping will be hosting Father Christmas and his elves in their grotto, for both little and the not so little children!

Dickensian Christmas Fayre at Gressenhall Reading Room 11am to 3pm with Father Christmas arriving by horse and carriage at about 1pm. Carols around the Christmas tree, roast chestnuts, soup, tea, coffee, mince pies and mulled wine. There will also be traditional crafts, homemade Christmas fare, sweets, toffee apples and sugar mice. In aid of Action for Children.

Christmas Festive Quiz, Honingham Village Hall, 7.30pm. Teams of up to four invited to buffet supper with soft drinks, bonus points for best festively dressed teams. Tickets �4, children �2 available from village hall committee members or at the Buck pub.

t Sunday, December 6

Children's Christmas Event, Bawdeswell Village Hall. Making Christmas Cards 2pm to 3pm. Party Games and Refreshments 3.30pm - 5.30pm. Santa has promised to drop in to see us. Book in advance. Admission is free but we must know who is coming so that we can tell Santa who will be at the party. Call Janet on 01362 688749 by November 27.

A Christmas Experience: Past and Present at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum.

Enjoy a day of Festive Fun at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Visit Santa in his 1950s Grotto, sing your heart out with Victorian carol singers in the Workhouse Chapel, listen to hand bell ringers, shop for Christmas, watch a Magic Lantern show, get creative in Art Attack and find out about Christmas past. Down on the farm there's a Living Crib with donkeys from Litcham Hall, a shepherd and his sheep, cooking of Christmas fare on the Farmhouse range, traditional fair ground rides (weather permitting) and a steam engine.

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol at Holkham Hall at 6.30pm. SOLD OUT. Be swept away in this magical tale and travel with Ebeneezer Scrooge through his adventures with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. In the interval take the opportunity to ascend the grand staircase to The Saloon to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and mince pies. Adults �15.50/conc �10. Family ticket �46 (2 adults 2 children). Call Holkham ticket office on 01328 713111.

Taverham Band will perform a Christmas Concert at St Mary's Church in North Elmham starting at 6pm. Tickets �7 (children under 14 free).

Christmas with Cats is an open day at Venture Farm Cat Rescue at Thuxton Road, Mattishall, from 11am to 3pm. There will be lots of stalls and games, raffle, tombola, gifts and books for sale. Refreshments available all day. Feed the cats a Christmas treat. �2 entrance fee, which includes a present. All proceeds to help animals in the care of the centre.

Westfield Christmas Cracker is at Yaxham Village hall from 10.30am to 1pm. Cards, pictures, jewellery, cakes, decorations, plants, mulled wine and mince pies. Free entry

t Tuesday, December 8

Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society's panto Snow White will run at Fakenham Community Centre from December 8 until 12. Tickets are on sale at Evolve in Norwich Street, Fakenham, open from 10am to 4pm, or on 01328 862622.

t Thursday, December 10

Crystal Dyball is wishing people a Merry Christmas with a special seasonal flower demonstration of ideas for the festive season from 7.30pm at North tuddenham Village Hall. Tickets �5 (Friends �4) available from The Lodge public house or Daphne Blyth on 01362 850446. Refreshments and raffle available.

t Friday, December 11

Christmas Tree Festival at Trinity Methodist Church, Theatre Street, Dereham, from December 11 to 13, open Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm. There will be more than 28 Christmas Trees decorated by local charities including Cancer Care, Mencap, Salvation Army, Children's Society and Friends of Dereham Hospital, who will all keep the cash they make from the event. Refreshments available including homemade soup, ploughman's, rolls, cakes and mince pies. Admission is free.

t Saturday, December 12

Wells Christmas Tide is this year running from - Friday, December 11, to Sunday, December 13. Christmas family fun and festivities including Santa arriving from the North Sea escorted by the inshore lifeboat (if available) as well as music, food and fireworks. For more information, see Christmas Tide website.

Fakenham Craft Market: A selection of locally made crafts and collectables. Refreshments available. Open 10am to 3pm at Fakenham Parish Church.

Enjoy a live concert surrounded by decorated and lit Christmas trees in Trinity Methodist Church, Theatre Street, Dereham at 7.30pm. The Livewire concert tickets are �5 available from Just Kitchenware or telephone Peter on 01362 858725.

Colkirk Community Carols on the Campyng Land from 3pm to 4pm. Gather around a Christmas tree under the night sky to sing all your favourite carols and Christmas songs then enjoy free refreshments and a visit by Father Christmas. Free but donations invited to East Anglian Air Ambulance. Please bring a torch or lantern.

Reepham Library, Christmas crafts, 2-4pm.

t Sunday December 13

A Christmas Fair is being held at St Swithin's Church Bintree on December 12 from 10am until 12 noon. There will be the usual range of activities including tombola and stalls

A traditional concert for all the family lasting an hour with mulled wine and mince pies and plenty of opportunities to join in, featuring the Iceni Choir with a selection of carols and other music directed by James Lilwall, Annette Jude - Piano, Roger Rayner - Organ, Susie Turner soprano, direct from the Westend and Broadway and June Harrison - soprano. In aid of The Friends of Bawdeswell Church. All Saints Church, Bawdeswell, at 4pm. Tickets (including wine & mince pies) are �6 and can be obtained from James Lilwall on 01362 688499. For More details contact; James Lilwall or email

t Wednesday, December 16

Gonville and Caius College Choir performing a live choral evensong at Swanton Morley's All Saints Church. The performance is to be played on Radio 3. Starts at 4pm.

Bawdeswell Christmas Carols. Father Christmsa flanked by carollers will depart from the village hall at 6pm stopping off in 12 places around the village to sing carols followed by mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate in the village hall.

Christmas coffee morning at Foxley Village Hall at 10.30am. Goodies, toddy, mardle and bumper raffle.

t Thursday, December 17

A Christingle service will be held at St Mary's Church in Beeston at 4pm.

t Saturday, December 19

Fakenham Choral Society's Christmas Concert at Fakenham Parish Church from 7.30pm.

For one weekend the Whitwell and Reepham Railway is offering a magical train ride for families to find Father Christmas and his grotto in the woods along the train line. Families will have their own compartment with mince pies, sherry, mulled wine and soft drinks and a visit from Father Christmas with presents for children under 15 years of age. There will also be festivities in the station. Tickets are �10 per person, children under two �3, from 01603 871694 or

t Sunday, December 20

Christmas Carols at Wells Boathouse. Join us at the Boathouse on Sunday 20 December for our second Christmas Carol Service with Fakenham Town Band and Wells Churches Together. 6.30pm, Lifeboat House

Christmas carol service at St Mary's Church, Beeston, 6pm. It is the first time in several years that the carol service is being held in the church after the renovation of the roof. It will be illuminated with new lighting.

Carols by candlelight at St Margaret's Church, Worthing, 6pm.

Christmas Carol Service at St Withburga's Church, Holkham, at 11.30am. Includes nine lessons and carols, mulled wine, soft drinks and mince pies.

Candlelit Carol Service at Fakenham Parish Church from 6.30pm.

t Monday, December 21

Reepham library Christmas Storytime for the Under 8's, 2pm to 2.3opm. Please contact the Library to book your place on 01603 870474. All children must be accompanied by and adult

Dereham library Christmas Storytime for the Under 8's, 10am to 10.30am. Please contact the Library to book your place on 01362693184. All children must be accompanied by and adult

t Christmas Eve

Christingle services at Fakenham Parish Church at 4pm and 6pm. First service for Christmas, 11.30pm, midnight parish communion

t Christmas Day

Christmas Dinner. Delectable Delights at Deepdale this Christmas! Join us for a festive Feast, full of merriment and cheer. We are looking forward to opening the stove this year to a wonderfully cooked Turkey dinner with all the trimmings at just �20.00 per head!

We will aim to be serving dinner at 3pm and party games and quizes will follow afterwards for those who wish to join in. Deepdale Secret Santa. For everyone coming for Christmas dinner please bring a �5.00 gift to be placed under the tree and unwrapped after dinner. Children �10.00. No alcohol provided as we are an unlicensed venue, but please feel free to bring what ever you would like for yourself. Price: �20.00 per Adult, �10.00 per Child. Location: Deepdale Backpackers and Camping, North Norfolk coast, Burnham Deepdale

Roundtable Christmas Day Swim. Hunstanton Round Table Christmas Day Swim attracts thousands of spectators each year from near and far and has enjoyed fantastic support for 50 years. The event plays a crucial part in many a family Christmas in these parts for both residents and visitors alike and it raises huge sums of money for many charitable causes. Swimmers assemble around 10.30am and the swim commences at 11am from the Central Promenade. If you wish to take part in the sponsored swim please contact: Hunstanton Round Table, c/o Witley Press Ltd, 24 Greevegate, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 6AD Tel: 01485 532543. Price: Contributions to charity always welcome Location: Hunstanton, north Norfolk coast

t Monday, December 28

Christmas Family Gathering at Foxley Village Hall from 8pm. Live music with Peter J, licensed bar and raffle, call 01362 688768 for more information. Tickets �6, children 6-14 �3, under 6 free.