Carla Brayshaw column

Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.
Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.

Winter seems to be upon us and our thoughts inevitably turn towards Christmas and so in our house this means getting involved in helping out at some local events leading up to the big day.

First on the list is the Dickensian Festival in Morecambe this coming weekend, November 22-23.

It promises to be a great first event and hopefully will become a regular attraction for the town.

It’s being organised by the people from Go Morecambe and they have put a lot of hard work into getting this event off the ground (and believe me, I know from my experience with the carnival, what a lot of work is involved in a first year’s event).

The Festival, which will incorporate a fairground on Pleasureland’s car park, also features a Christmas lights switch on and my personal favourite, the Melodrome Stage with two days of live music and acts, featuring The Bay Radio’s DJ Cooky.

Along Victoria Street there will be traditional stalls in keeping with the Dickensian theme. I’ve only really got involved because the organisers contacted me to invite the Carnival King & Queen to take part in the Santa Parade, which will be running between the Arndale Centre and The Melodrome stage.

David has been involved in helping Go Morecambe out a few times in the past and on Saturday he will be chaperone and chauffeur to Michael Parr (Ross Barton from ITV’s Emmerdale) who will be switching on the Christmas lights, with Father Christmas of course.

The Santa Parade will kick off at 1.30pm from The Arndale and Santa’s sleigh will process along Victoria Street to the Melodrome stage, returning on foot back to the Arndale for a 2pm switch on.

Michael will also be appearing on The Melodrome stage later in the afternoon, where he will sign autographs and switch on the town Christmas lights at 6pm.

On Sunday it’s the Lancaster Lights switch on. David and I have both volunteered to help out at this event, which is being organised by Lancaster Unlimited and The Bay. The Bay stage goes live from Market Square at 3pm and they have a fantastic musical line up, including X Factor finalist Paul Akister.

The Bay were huge supporters of this year’s carnival and we are delighted that they have pledged their support to us again for 2015.

By offering a few hours of our time to steward this event, we are giving something back, albeit in a very small way, to say thank you. I can neither confirm nor deny the rumour that it might also have something to do with the fact that I might get a chance to meet Matt Cardle, who is also appearing on The Bay stage.

Next week I will report back and, I also hope to have details of our Carnival Christmas appeal to help support families in crisis in our local area.