TAUNTON’S Christmas tree has been installed this morning (Monday, November 20) as the town gets ready for its Winterfest.

The 38-foot tree, outside the Market House on Fore Street, was donated by Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm as part of a series of events supported by the town council.

Taunton’s Winterfest, managed by Ben De-Vey’s Family Fun Fair, and supported by Taunton Town Council grant funding, will take place on Sunday, November 26 between 10am and 8pm also including the lights switch-on event.

Somerset County Gazette:

Mayor of Taunton, Cllr Nick O’Donnell, said: “I’m really looking forward to turning on the lights this year as Taunton Town Council’s first Mayor, especially as Christmas happens to be my favourite time of year.

“It’s important that we continue to support our local businesses and I hope that this event will attract residents and visitors alike.

“There will be plenty to enjoy including live on-stage performances from local musicians and performers, literally something for everyone.

“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, partners, sponsors, and everyone else involved for their support in helping us to bring the Christmas magic to Taunton.”

The tree was installed by Wheeler and Son, with support from Western Fabrication and Somerset Council.

There is a programme packed full of free family entertainment, including meet and greets with a Snow Queen and a Nutcracker on stilts, a free Santa’s grotto, funfair rides, and a Christmas Market, leading up to the Christmas lights switch-on at 6pm by the Mayor of Taunton ably assisted by Holly, the winner of the council’s Peacock Colouring Competition.

Whilst the light switch-on kick starts the festive calendar, there is plenty more to come with a food festival, craft fayre, and independent market.

As well as the usual array of Christmas lights, The Lighting Company, on Fore Street, is very kindly hosting, and funding the electricity for, a Christmas-themed projector feature, using the Lloyds Bank building as its canvas.

TTC will be welcoming brass bands, buskers, and choirs to serenade shoppers in the High Street and the Taunton Independent Quarter (St James Street), to build festive cheer every Saturday in December in the run-up to Christmas.

The council has also engaged some fantastic street performers, ranging from Bouncy Elves to Squirrel Nutkins, culminating in spectacular fire performances on Saturday 23 December from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

On the Saturdays of 10, 17, and 24 December, Somerset Council is offering free parking for Christmas shoppers after 3pm in its Taunton car parks (excluding Kilkenny).

The ever-popular Carols Around the Bandstand will return to Vivary Park at 6.30pm Monday, 11 December.

Supported by Taunton Concert Band, Taunton Deane Male Voice Choir, The West Somerset Singers, Rock Choir, and Let’s Sing, the evening promises to be a festive treat.

Road closures will be in place to allow the safe management of the event.