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Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, working with Eden Arts and Eden District Council has announced plans for a new Winter Festival in Penrith over the Christmas period. Earlier this year members of Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce decided that the Christmas lights display should be scaled down. Members took the view that the lights and the events which surround it should promote business in the town, encourage visitors and raise the profile of Penrith. Unfortunately, the Chamber feels that in its current format the Christmas lights do not achieve this objective.
Christmas activities will kick off on Saturday 24th November with a large scale event named “The Winter Droving”. The event draws on the history and heritage of Penrith as an agricultural centre and gathering place for people in the Eden Valley and surrounding areas. The event will be focused on community engagement working with local artists, makers, musicians, community groups and schools. It is hoped that up to 500 members of the local community will be part of the procession, which will weave its way through the town from Beacon Edge into the centre for a huge winter and Christmas celebration.
In addition to this Penrith Chamber of Trade has developed a Christmas lights package for businesses, shops and traders in the town. Other activities Penrith Chamber are hoping to run include a window dressing competition, Christmas trail, carol singing, festive street theatre, Christmas offers, late night opening, Santa’s grotto and elves workshop and free parking, which will all be marketed in a way that would encourage more people to visit Penrith to do their Christmas shopping over the festive period.
Another key feature of the Winter Festival will be a Christmas Market, which Eden District Council are hoping to run over the few weeks running up to Christmas. This will be full of festive delights such as local food producers, crafts people and local shops coming out on to the street.
A strategic and co-ordinated plan for festivities at Christmas could have a significant impact on Penrith during a tough economic climate. Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Eden Arts and Eden District Council are therefore calling upon all business people, community groups and residents to think about how they could do their bit and get involved with helping create a festive buzz in the town