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Town’s claim to be the most festive in the East Midlands

Town’s claim to be the most festive in the East Midlands

Could Castle Donington be the most festive place in the East Midlands?

The market town, nestled on the Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire borders, is claiming to be the most festive in the area.

It comes as Castle Donington Parish Council and other partner organisations are set to hold a staggering number of Christmas events.

The town even has a number of streets filled with festive fanatics - residents on Kirkland Close light up the whole road, with a switch-on planned for 5pm on December 4.

Their impressive efforts are all in the name of Castle Donington Community First Responders - a team of volunteers under East Midlands Ambulance Service who are often on scene within minutes of a 999 call being received, increasing chances of survival.

Not to be outdone, the residents of Spitfire Road also go all-out in decking the halls.

The first of the events took place at the weekend, with a Christmas market featuring around 20 stalls kick-starting festivities at Castle Donington Community Hub, on Bondgate.

The Community Hub will also host a Christmas tree festival, with local clubs, schools, charities and businesses encouraged to dress trees. 

During the Hub’s extended opening hours, participants will be asked to consider making a donation (however small) towards the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. 

Any local group is welcome, with set-up from 3pm-5pm on November 30 and removal from 1pm-3pm on December 6. 

The festival itself runs from 6pm-8pm on December 2, 9am-1pm on December 3 and 9am-1pm on December 4, with festive food and drink for all.

Crafty residents have also been getting busy for a Christmas pom pom display, to go on show in the town’s Pinfold Gardens in December.

Castle Donington Parish Council is also organising a reindeer and elf trail for young families. 

Fifteen festive characters will be displayed around the village, from December 8 to December 22. A clue sheet will be available from the Hub or to download from the Parish Council website, with prizes up for grabs.

There is also a free ‘Letters to Santa’ service from December 1 until December 22. Children can drop their letters into a festive post box at the Hub. Each child will receive a free hand-written reply delivered to their door thanks to The Castle Donington Mrs Claus!

Mrs Clause has been running the free service since 2020.

She said:

“I started in lockdown as I thought it would be a nice thing to do for the children. Apart from my family and about two other people, nobody knows who the ‘Castle Donington Mrs Clause’ is – if anyone asks, I’m not from Castle Donington, I’m from the North Pole!”

Another activity is wreath-making at the Hub by Orchard Primary School Parent Teacher Association on December 1. 

Castle Donington Methodist Church is organising a Christmas fair, from 9am-2pm on Saturday, November 26, raising funds for the local food bank.

And the biggest of the events is Castle Donington Christmas Cheer, on December 2.

During this grand occasion - a calendar highlight - Santa and his real reindeer parade along Borough Street. Youngsters can have their photos taken for free with the reindeer, enjoy free fairground rides and experience the all-important lights switch-on.

As part of the event, there will be a candlelit procession at 5pm in St Edward’s Churchyard, with children given free glowsticks, followed by festivities at Market Place from 5.30pm, including appearances from Disney Frozen characters and Derby County mascot Ewie, as well as carols from Melbourne Operatic Society and local Beaver and Cub groups.

On Saturday, December 17, from 10am-1pm, Santa will be stopping by at the Community Hub. Booking is required.

Castle Donington Volunteer Centre also runs a number of festive activities for its regular participants and one favourite is a three-course Christmas meal put on by the GrowCookShare team at the Community Hub.

Fiona Palmer, clerk to Castle Donington Parish Council, said:

“For a village of just short of 6,500 people, there really is a lot going on per head of population this Christmas!

“We have such a wonderful community here in Castle Donington, and we really do love to see everyone coming out to support our events. We can’t wait for the festivities to begin, and to see the smiles on everyone’s faces!”

To find out more, visit or one of the local Facebook groups.

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