Christmas is well and truly on the way to Launceston. 

The evenings are getting darker, days are getting colder, and the faint sound of bells can be heard around the town, and there is plenty going on this festive season! 

The League of Friends of Launceston Hospital & Community kicked off the local festivities with their very own festive market. 

The event, which took place on Saturday, November 11, saw residents and visitors flock to browse the stalls, enjoy the festive food and drink on offer and buy some unique gifts for their loved ones.  

The Christmas-themed market brought together more than 40 stall holders in the wonderful setting of the town hall and coincided with the Chamber of Commerce market in the square, so Launceston had kick started the countdown to Christmas in style. 

This year’s event also had a special guest and his team of elves, who took time out to visit the market. Children both young and not so young wrote letters and posted them, and in return received a countdown gift, a letter from Father Christmas and most importantly a magic key for Christmas Eve. 

The town mayor, Cllr Helen Bailey also wrote her own letter for Santa, and Santa will share this letter on the League of Friends social media on Christmas Eve. 

Chairman of the League of Friends Lisa Dymond said: “This is our seventh and best festive market to date, year on year it is growing and is now one of our main fundraisers of the year. This year we raised over £1,100 through the generosity of our supporters. We have a fantastic group of traders who support us and the feedback this year was amazing, we had comments, 

“Extremely proud to be part of this year’s festive market”. 

“We had a great time attending the festive market. There was a lovely atmosphere and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. 

“We would definitely attend again if there was another one next Christmas.” 

However, if you didn’t manage to make it to this event, there are plenty more to look forward to, including Launceston’s big light switch on!  

This year’s switch on will be at 6.30pm on December 1, when the carnival royalty will have the huge task of getting the Christmas period underway.  

There will be a parade prior to the switch on through town, as Father Christmas is joined by a number of groups and organisations as part of the town’s ‘Festival of Light’ parade. 

There will be a Christmas market with food and festive goods to support local businesses. As well as this, there will be plenty of entertainment to enjoy through the day as the stage hosts entertainment from 2pm until 8pm, schools, the Pop Choir and many others will be offering festive cheer to visitors. 

The amazing, and ever-popular, Christmas tree festival in St Mary’s Church will then be opened at 7pm by the mayor. 

Cllr Bailey added: “This year local businesses have supported the light bars. The tree in the Square has new lights, sponsored by AMC Electrical and Terry Graves Electrical, also for the second year Fernbank have kindly sponsored the stage.  

“Thank you to all the businesses for their continued support and to Launceston Rotary Club and the Youth Council for grants for street entertainment and gifts for Father Christmas to give away.” 

And as we get closer and closer to the big day, on December 22, Father Christmas will be touring the town on his sleigh, listen out for the bells!