Christmas will light up Derbyshire this weekend
Mickleover starts the weekend early when the village’s first official Christmas lights are turned on by two stars of Derby Assembly Rooms’ Peter Pan.
The lights will be switched on at 6pm on Thursday with a special appearance by Mike McClean who plays Smee and Dame Able Mabel, alias Jason Sutton.
Derby Hospitals Band, the Singing Saints and the Mickleover Methodist Church singers will be providing musical entertainment and there will be festive food and drink on offer.
Also on Thursday, there will be a Christmas shopping evening at Studio 61 Gallery Boutique, in Holloway, from 5pm to 8 pm.
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Buxton's Pavilion Gardens hosts an indoor Christmas farmers market on Thursday with an array of provisions on offer from producers across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales as well as local crafts for sale.
Matlock town centre is the focus for a whole weekend of Christmas activity starting on Friday when the annual three-day Victorian Christmas market opens with 150 stalls in two marquees selling a wide range of goods.
There will be a Christingle Service in Crown Square at 5.30pm on Friday with Santa, street entertainers and face painting and also, as part of Matlock's Victorian weekend, many of the town's local independent businesses will be staying open until 8pm on Friday.
Milford’s Christmas lights will be turned on this Friday, when Santa and the Mayor of Belper, Cllr Mark Robertson, will be accompanied by carol singing from Milford Primary school at 5pm.
Following on from Milford’s lights switch on, Derby County Captain Shaun Barker and DCFC mascot Rammie will be switching on Belper’s Christmas lights at 5.45pm on Friday with help from Belper’s busy Mayor.
The switch on will be accompanied with free entertainment including Punch and Judy, brass bands, a Dickensian market and late night shopping until 8pm.
Shed 2 Studios in Ilkeston is opening its doors for a Christmas shopping weekend on Friday evening and Saturday. The artists and designer/makers at the studios produce a range of contemporary items, including jewellery, art, sculpture, furniture and interior design pieces and will be opening their studios on Friday from 5.30pm to 9pm and on Saturday from 11am until 5pm giving you the chance to buy some unique and beautifully designed gifts for Christmas, with 10% off everything.
The Devonshire Dome in Buxton is the venue for an evening of amateur boxing on Friday hosted by Buxton Amateur Boxing Club and starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £13 for adults and £8 for children and students, with an option for a VIP ringside table with food for which advance booking is required.
Children have a chance to take breakfast with Santa this weekend, at Sudbury Hall Museum of Childhood, with Father Christmas making special breakfast time visits to Sudbury Hall's Coach House Restaurant. The museum has a special children's breakfast menu followed by a visit from Father Christmas and a present for all the good boys and girls!
Ashbourne Animal Welfare is holding a Christmas weekend on Saturday and Sunday at the Ark in Wyaston Road. The charity will be launching their 2012 dog and cat Christmas Dinner Appeal with tours of The Ark, which is decorated for Christmas and each cat and dog has a stocking hung up, which they are hoping will be filled.
Turn back the clock with a visit to the 21st Indoor Dickensian Market to be held at the Pavilion Gardens Octagon in Buxton on Saturday where there will be a Dickensian style street market with decorated stalls and stallholders suitably dressed in Dickensian costume and lots of entertainment to enjoy including dancers and brass bands plus music from choirs and musicians.
Strutts North Mill in Belper is holding a Christmas Craft Fair with a host of seasonal stalls including tasty food, children's activities and a Christmas decoration workshop. All happening between 1 and 5pm on Saturday.
From Saturday, children will have the chance to see Santa in a genuine limestone grotto as Father Christmas will be dropping in to Poole's Cavern. There will be opportunities to explore the caverns, illuminated for the festive season, before visiting Santa and receiving a special gift. Tickets cost £5 per person, to include a present from Father Christmas, a visit to Poole's Cavern and a drink in the Cavern Cafe.
Saturday evening will see Father Christmas parade through Matlock town centre, followed by the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights by BBC weather presenter Anna Church at 4.45pm.
The Hydro Restaurant will keep Buxton’s Dickensian theme running into the evening by hosting “A Twisted Christmas Carol”, Dickensian themed murder mystery dinner promising an evening of festivities, murder and mayhem as diners join with the professional cast performing Dickens with a difference.
The Old lock Up Studio in Cromford will hold a one-night only Salon 2 exhibition on Saturday evening, showing the work of thirteen regional and international artists with music by singer/songwriter Marc Block.
Riding Lights Theatre Company presents their new play, Give it Back Mak! on Saturday evening at St Lawrence's Church, in Heanor, from 6.30pm. Incorporating puppetry and wonderful story telling full of desperate deeds, sheep in prams and people that glow in the dark - this is a warm hearted, funny, Christmas story suitable for all the family.
Nationally acclaimed comedian and TV personality Alan Davies is bringing his Life is Pain tour to a sold out Buxton Opera House on Saturday evening with sharp and inventive wit from the QI regular and former Jonathan Creek and Whites star.
The Central Methodist Church in Belper has a Festival of Angels at 10.45 am on Sunday morning. Local primary schools, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Playgroup and others groups have been involved with creating their own interpretation of a 'Festival of Angels’ and the service will include the Toy and Christingle service. Everyone is welcome to attend the service, to enjoy the decorated church and admire the displays.
The sixth annual Carsington Santa run takes place on Sunday morning when dozens of runners, all dressed as Santa, will tackle the five kilometre course in aid of Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
Just one Santa will be paying a visit to Heage Windmill on Sunday, where he will arrive by pony and trap, at 12.30 and will be meeting the children in his grotto under the windmill from 1pm until 4pm. There will also be seasonal stalls, mince pie and free mulled wine, tombola, raffle, marble game and the opportunity to create your very own Christmas badge.
Matlock’s Victorian weekend will close on Sunday evening with a firework display at 5.15 in the town centre.
Finally, Heanor’s Christmas lights switch on takes place at 6pm on Monday when the fun starts at 4pm with a community fair in St Lawrence’s Church and a Victorian market at the town hall. Ilkeston Brass Band and Heanor Musical Theatre Company will accompany the Mayor, Cllr Janes as he switches on the town’s brand new lights.