Diana Thompson, High Sheriff of Leicestershire, looks round some of the beautiful trees at this year's Christmas Tree Festival.
Some of the beautiful trees on display.
Some of the helpers who prepared food at the wine and buffet night on Thursday take a well earned break.
The lights fantastic!
More than 200 people saw the lights fantastic at the wine and buffet preview evening and opening service led by Melton Team Parish Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby, on Thursday (November 30th) to launch this year's spectacular Christmas Tree Festival in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray.
Months and months of hard work and planning have gone into this year's event which will be open in the beautiful Grade 1 Listed building on Friday, November 30th, and run until Tuesday, December 4th.
The popular festival, now in its 16th year, had 100 trees when it first started. However, Diana Thompson, High Sheriff of Leicestershire, who officially switched on the lights on Thursday night, said this year's total was now 1,500!
And what an amazing sight they all make. Last year visitors came from all over the country, and some from other countries, to see the fantastic range of ideas on how to dress a Christmas Tree... and this year's event promises to be even better than the last.
Mrs Thompson said she was the first High Sheriff to switch on the lights at the festival in St Mary's Church and that those involved with it should be proud of the way the event brings the local community together.
One of the highlights of the evening was a beautiful rendition of the Christmas carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, which was performed by the fabulous Melton Mowbray Choral Society, under the leadership of James Gutteridge, and those present.
A note of sadness on the night was when Chairman of the Christmas Tree Festival Committee, Ian Neale, said that Andrew and Trisha Nutter will be moving next year and this would be their last festival in Melton Mowbray, and that he and wife Dina would also be stepping down from the committee this year. Both couples have served on the committee since the festival began.
Many people on the night said that they think this year's festival is the best yet. What do you think? Find out below when you can come into the church and judge for yourself. Look forward to seeing you there.
Christmas Tree Festival 2018 Programme
Friday, 30th November 9am - Church open to the public until 9pm. Last admission 8pm. Refreshments all day. Mulled wine and mince pies will be available from 5pm.
Saturday, 1st December - Open to the public 9am – 4.30pm. Carols amongst the Trees 5pm. Refreshments all day.
Sunday, 2nd December - 8am Holy Communion Service in St Mary's Church.
St Mary’s Church open to the public 9am – 5pm. Last admission 4pm. Refreshments all day.
6.30pm - Songs of Praise in St Mary’s – singing led by The Hathern Brass Band.
Monday, 3rd December - Open to the public 9am – 9pm. Last admission 8pm. Mulled wine and mince pies will be available from 5pm. Refreshments all day.
Tuesday, 4th December - Open to the public 9am – 4pm. Last admission 3pm. Refreshments all day.
4.00 pm Festival closes with prayers from Revd Kevin Ashby.
4.15 pm Trees removed from Church.
Congratulations to Linda and Paul Pearson who celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on Thursday and are pictured near the Post Alpha Home Group "tree" which features Linda's wedding dress!
Chairman of the Christmas Tree Festival Committee, Ian Neale, and Melton Team Parish Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby, share a joke on Thursday night.
The scene in St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray. Don't miss looking round our fabulous trees!
One of the highlights of the night was a beautiful rendition of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing performed by Melton Mowbray Choral Society.
Chairman of the Christmas Tree Festival Committee, Ian Neale, takes to the microphone.
Dina and Ian Neale, who will be leaving the Christmas Tree Festival Committee after 16 years.
Quizmaster Richard Angrave is pictured with his tree at this year's festival.