A combination of fine weather - cold but no wind or rain - new
attractions, food outlets, stalls of all varieties, and large crowds
to enjoy it all made the 2012 Henleaze Christmas Festival the best
Local schoolchildren got things off to a musical start. The
choir from Henleaze Juniors followed the arrival of Father Christmas
at the Outside Arena. Red Maids` juniors choir and handbell ringers
started off the entertainment in the Bradbury Hall. An innovation
this year was using the lane behind the shops as a walkway festooned
with coloured lights and, for the first time, stalls. A steady
throng of festival goers used the lane throughout the evening - many
of them parents with children on their way to the Grotto at the
Cardigan Road end for a chat with Father Christmas.
entertainment, which included a helter skelter for the first time,
was as popular as ever. There were some additions to the food and
drink on offer as well including Indonesian curry and Lebanese lamb.
A cocktail bar in a camper van at the Dublin Crescent end of the
lane proved a hit. And as well as the many types of burgers
available, the hog roast made a welcome return, as did roast
chestnuts, crepes, mulled wine and cider.
Shops and cafes opening
late for the festival did good business with Henleaze Road full of
festival goers filling the pavement and queuing up for the many
festive delights on offer. Among the new entertainers was Mr Brown`s
Pig Puppet Act - a big succes with the children in the Bradbury
Hall, the Bristol Swing Dancers, the Out There Choir and Welisane.
Band First prize in the Best Dressed Shop Window competition, run by
The Henleaze Society, was Just So Balloons with Kondi Gifts coming
second. This year`s prize draw raised £1045 with the proceeds going
to local charities.
The Salvation Army entertained the crowds around
The Arena with a medley of popular carols. The choir from Trinity-Henleaze
URC brought the evening to a close with community carols in the
Bradbury Hall. All in all a triumph for co-ordinator Liz Drysdale
and her team. But with Liz stepping down a new co-ordinator is
if you are
interested or can help the festival in other ways.