Giant Christmas tree arrives in Stockton

Stockton Christmas Tree going into place at the fountain. Pic by Dave Charnley.

Preparations for Stockton Sparkles continued at the weekend with the arrival of a giant Christmas tree.

The 50ft tall spruce tree was lowered by a crane into its home in Stockton High Street’s Central Area at the weekend.

The tree is the latest supersized festive decoration to arrive on the High Street, complementing the polar bear and her cub peering into the Town Hall, and the reindeer and calf which are positioned above the Shambles market hall.

It will be positioned in its new home in the fountain area, while the fountains will be switched off to prevent frost damage and minimise the risk of the area freezing over.

Visitors to Stockton town centre will also find a huge sparkling gift box on the Castlegate Centre roof, a giant glittering bow tied around buildings overlooking the Central Area and a canopy of lights which will illuminate Silver Street.

The lights will all be switched on at the launch night of Stockton Sparkles, which starts at 5.30pm on Thursday, November 29.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: “The giant festive decorations are always very popular and will look even more special when the lights are switched on at our launch event on November 29.

“There will be lots of free entertainment and activities to enjoy throughout this year’s Stockton Sparkles including street theatre, the annual reindeer parade and a variety of Christmas markets.

“We will also see the return of a touching community initiative called The Gift which encourages people to help those less fortunate.

“There will be plenty to see and do throughout the four-week event and we’re looking forward to celebrating with you all.”

For more information on Stockton Sparkles and to see the full programme of events visit www.stockton.gov.uk/stocktonsparkles