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Bodmin celebrates 20 years of Christmas Tree Festivals

This year’s Christmas Tree Festival at St. Petroc’s Church, with market stall, music, refreshments and grand draw, is open with free entry for everyone from Wednesday December 7 to Saturday December 18, 10am to 4.30pm, (excluding Sundays), with tree viewing only from December 19 to 26.

Muriel Nicholl, one of the organising team, has been involved from the start. She recalls:

“Following a successful exhibition for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, it was suggested the church should consider a Christmas Tree Festival.

“In 2003 trees and lights were sourced and the church’s invitation to schools, charities and retailers to decorate a tree, was willingly accepted. Over the years the number of trees has grown.

"The decorated trees are a source of awe and excitement and provide a sense of peace and wonderment, in the often stressful-time leading up to Christmas Day.”

Dave & Pam Johnson 2015 Bodmin College Sixth Form 2020

Roland Oakley heads the team. He said: “As we celebrate the 20th anniversary, we’re injecting new energy into the festival, to make it extra special for the community. All the traditions of previous festivals are being kept but new ideas will bring a new feel to it this year. People who’ve attended over the past two decades will definitely see some surprises!”

When pressed to share the ‘surprises’, Roland didn’t give much away, but did reveal that Bodmin Nursery has donation of a huge tree for families to decorate during the festival.

And it’s no secret that there will be concerts on virtually every evening of the festival.

Bodmin College Sixth Form students will help again with tree installations, will add a new feature to the external nativity scene, and this year will help serve refreshments.

November events

Saturday 19, 10am to 4pm, ‘Magical Christmas Market’, free entry, trade/craft stalls and festive music.

Saturday 19, 7.30pm, TV’s tribute act James Hutchinson presents ‘Olly Murs v Gary Barlow’, licensed bar, tickets available from

December concerts amidst the trees

Tuesday 6, 6.30pm Opening Schools Concert.

Wednesday 7, 7pm, Loveny Male Voice Choir ‘A Christmas Performance’, tickets on the door.

Thursday 8, doors 7pm, St Agnes Fountain’s award-winning duo Chris While and Julia

Matthews join Chris Leslie to bring their annual tour to Cornwall for the first time, tickets from

Friday 9, 7.30pm, ‘Adele of a Tribute’, licensed bar, tickets from

Saturday 10, 5.30pm, The Polar Express Film Night with hot chocolate (PJs optional), tickets from the Magical Christmas Market or the Christmas Tree Festival.

Monday 12, 7pm, The Kernow Chamber Players presents ‘A Ceremony of Carols’, choir music by Britten, Petherick and others, tickets from

Tuesday 13, 7pm to 8.20pm, ‘Lowender Nadelik!’ featuring the talented Cornwall Youth Orchestra. A free celebration of uplifting and inspiring Christmas music performed by young people from across Cornwall.

Thursday 15, 7pm, ‘A Cornish Christmas’. Following Johnny Cowling’s sell out ‘Concert in the Trees’ last year, he’s returning to perform during the 20th anniversary of Christmas Tree Festival. This year’s event also features another Cornishman, Will Keating, accompanied by outstanding banjo player John Dowling. The concert brings a truly Cornish Christmas to Bodmin. Doors at 6.30pm and a fully licensed bar and raffle. Tickets include a pasty supper, from, 01726 63513 or at Bodmin Tourist Information Centre.

Friday 16, 7.30pm, Bodmin Town Band ‘Christmas Concert’, tickets on the door.

Saturday 17, 7.30pm, The Swing Empire, sounds of The Rat Pack, licensed bar, tickets from

Monday 19, 10am to 4pm, Kids’ Craft Day.

Sunday 18, 6pm, St Petroc’s Church Carol Service.

For details please visit

An article for Bodmin Life magazine.

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