Victorian winter festival

A FEAST of festive family entertainment is on the cards at Hartlepool’s first-ever Victorian winter festival.

The highlight is a Victorian version of Christmas Crackers at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience on Thursday, December 15, between 4.30pm-7.30pm.

The evening of family fun – which has been sponsored by Niramax Total Waste Solutions – includes Victorian storytelling and pantomime, characters in period costume, carols, gingerbread men workshops, street theatre acts, animals and a traditional sweet stall.

Youngsters can also visit Father Christmas in his grotto at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience between December 4 and 24, between 2pm-4pm.

Period drama ‘Cranford At Christmas’ takes place at the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday, December 1, at 2pm-7.30pm and an evening of candlelight and music awaits on Friday, December 16 at the Friends of Ward Jackson Park’s Christingle event at 6.30pm.

The Hartlepool Art Club and Christmas Crafts Exhibition is also taking place at Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Christ Church.

Meanwhile, Christmas treats can be picked up at the Farmers’ Market in the Maritime Experience car park on Saturday, December 10 from 8.30am.

People can also book their seat for Christmas lunch on board the historic HMS Trincomalee throughout December.

Hartlepool Male Voice Choir’s Christmas Concert takes place in the Borough Hall on Friday, December 16, at 7.30pm and the Hot Potato Comedy Club Christmas Special at the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, December 17, at 8pm.

Michelle Daurat, Hartlepool Borough Council’s events and visitor service manager, said: “Christmas was one of the great highlights of the Victorian year and was celebrated with a rich variety of events and some really good food.

“We’ve created our own Victorian-style festival of delights with lots for all the family to enjoy, so join us for a magical blend of fun which is overflowing with festive spirit.”

For more details of all these events – including charges and booking arrangements – call 01429 890000.