A WHOLE weekend of fun and entertainment is planned in Polperro as the village comes together for the big Christmas lights switch on.

A committee has been working hard to plan this year’s activities to make a sparkling start to the festive season for all ages.

Preparations for the event began in earnest back in February - and last weekend saw a team of volunteers out to put up the tree and the lights in readiness for December 2 and 3.

Over the next few days locals will be decorating their windows, and judging for the Best Dressed Window Display, with the categories being residential, businesses, and pubs, will take place on Friday December 1 from 5pm.

A big focus for the weekend is on music and song, and for the first time this year, a programme of community entertainment and bands will run across both the Saturday and Sunday.

The elves will be running their barbecue on Big Green with burgers and hotdogs and mulled wine, and there’ll be children’s crafts, competitions and games in the Methodist Tea Rooms.

As dusk begins to fall on the Saturday, it’s said that Father Christmas will arrive by Tuk Tuk and join the local primary school children in their lantern parade down through the village.

Everyone gathers on Big Green in anticipation of the big lights switch on – and there’s the chance for all youngsters to meet Santa in his grotto before an evening of music unfolds.

Polperro’s Christmas Lights weekend not only offers a stunning spectacle in one of Cornwall’s prettiest villages – it’s also the chance to find some unique gifts for friends and family, or maybe something special for yourself! A Christmas Craft Fair in Polperro Methodist Church will go across both days of the weekend, celebrating local artisan producers and makers. You can also enjoy browsing the many independent businesses during late night shopping after the lights go on.

One of those helping to organise the Christmas Lights weekend is Pat Hayday. She said: “There’s a core committee of around eight people and we start planning for the following year as soon as lights up weekend is over. As we get closer we put a shout out to get more people on board to help – and everyone is welcome to be involved. We had a tremendous response to getting the tree up and the lights up – and it was a really fun day.

“This year we decided we wanted to extend it and make it a Christmas festival with the entertainment on both days. We wanted to make it as child-centred as possible but there’s also lots for adults too.

“The local secondary school has formed a choir on the back of this and are doing other events as well. And our local youth drama group is a key part of the performances.”

Polperro’s Lights committee felt strongly that the event must be as inclusive as possible and so every effort has been made to keep everything free. Prices for the barbecue and mulled wine have been held at the same as last year. “We’ve been very lucky with the generosity of businesses and so every child will be able to receive a gift when they meet Santa, and this is free,” said Lesa Welch.

“Considering the cost of living, and that Christmas is ridiculously costly, we wanted to ensure that a family can come and have a really special night without having to dig deep into their pockets.”

The committee say they are very grateful for the support of the owner of Polperro’s car park, who has offered free parking from 3pm on Saturday Dec 1 and throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Assisting Father Christmas this year is Bev Littlejohn (aka Mrs Claus) who said: “For me this event is all about the community coming together. You’ve got people that live here, and people that come from afar, especially.

“A lot of it down here is centred on the children and meeting Santa is the main feature.”