Penrith at Christmas 2012

5th December, 2012

The way we have marked Christmas in Penrith has remained the same for many years, even decades, with the traditional sprinkling of lights throughout the town and the annual switch on.  Volunteers have worked tirelessly over the years to put on a display, but with funding cuts and the ever increasing costs associated in maintaining and putting up the lights, the Chamber felt that it could not continue in this way.  In addition the Chamber felt that it had to look at new ways of promoting the town at Christmas time in line with one of its key aims i.e. to increase trade and bring new visitors to the town. 

Chamber members therefore agreed that something new needed to be done and as a result we have teamed up with Eden Arts and Acorn Marketing and developed the idea of a new signature event for the town.  It is something new, something vibrant and something we could all be proud of and more importantly something which would attract more people to visit Penrith. 

With funding from the Pride in Penrith Lottery and the Vitality of Penrith Group 'The Winter Droving' has been born.  This is an event which celebrates the heritage of Penrith, encourages community participation and will bring a large scale signature event back to our town; which has been missing for years.  The event will put Penrith back on the map and be something we can feel truly proud of.  It is something for the town to embrace and join in – it is something we have done for you and it is your opportunity to get involved and support us.

And this will form one part of our overall 'Winter Festival' which we hope will attract more people to Penrith. This will take place over a 3 week period from the 24th November and throughout December and will encompass a full array of events and activities which will appeal to everyone;  from families and children to food lovers and party goers.  In addition we have also been collaborating with Eden District Council who will be holding a Christmas Market.  You can pick up a programme in many of the shops and businesses in Penrith.

As for Christmas Lights, do not despair; the town will not be in darkness.  Aside from the fire and light spectacular of the Winter Droving on the 24th November, the Chamber of Trade, in association with Richardson’s, has been encouraging businesses to do their bit and put Christmas trees and lights outside their shops.  The Monument will also be adorned with new lights as will the Christmas tree in Cornmarket. We are also encouraging participants in the Window Dressing competition to include light in their window displays.

A lot of hard work has gone into trying to bring some festive spirit back in to Penrith.  We encourage you to join in, think about doing your Christmas shopping in Penrith and support your local traders and let’s bring Christmas back to Penrith together in style.

Philip Cranston, President of Penrith Chamber of Trade and Commerce

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