Get out those diaries and grab yourself a pen or a pencil folks – because we’ve got an important date for you.

Saturday 30th November is the all-important entry you need to make because that’s when you need to clear the decks for this year’s Wells Christmas Tide Festival.

The festival is fast becoming one of the hottest events in Norfolk’s Christmas calendar, attracting thousands of visitors to Wells from across East Anglia and further afield.

Once again, the event has been brought slightly forward again this year due to the tides so that our youngest visitors can get to see Santa make his famous arrival in town from the sea.

The festive fun actually starts the day before (Friday 29th November) with the opening up of the Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall in Clubbs Lane for the traditional Christmas Tree Festival.

Locals and visitors alike will be able to admire the decorated trees from 10am until 4pm on Friday and Saturday (Nov 29/30) and 10am to 12noon on Sunday 1st December.

To add some extra spice on the eve of the big day Wells Maltings will be hosting a cocktail evening, so keep your eyes out on social media for further details nearer the time.

As you would expect, the festival organising committee has lined up another fantastic all-day jamboree of entertainment for the whole family from 10am the following day (Sat).

Craft and gift stalls will commence trading from various locations in the town, including the Quayside, Staithe Street, Wells Health Centre and Staithe Street car parks, The Maltings and the Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall.

Dave the Scots piper will signify the start of proceedings when he fires up his bagpipes and parades down Staithe Street at 10am.

 The town’s main shopping street will then remain the focus of the festive fun as a whole host of acts keep visitors entertained along its length for the remainder of the day.

 Acts will include the Norwich Samba Band, Charlie Cheesecake, the Fakenham Town Band, Punch & Judy, the Blakeney Old Wild Rovers, the Fakenham Ukes, Diddy Long Legs, the Bellfolk Handbell Ringers and ThunderMental.

 Residents and businesses should note that Staithe Street will be closed to traffic along its entire length from 10am to 8pm on the day for reasons of public safety.

 In addition to the travelling entertainers a host of other attractions will be available in the town including lantern making, face painting, model balloon making, the chance to ‘meet the penguins’ and an opportunity to make and decorate gingerbread men with Norfolk’s Kate Barmby of ‘Bake-Off’ fame.

 The honour of switching on the town’s Christmas lights will once again go to BBC Look East husband and wife presenters David Whiteley and Amelia Reynolds at around 5pm.
 Approximately 45 minutes later children and their parents will parade down Staithe Street towards the harbour with the lanterns they made earlier in the day in readiness for Santa’s arrival.

 Accompanied children can also take part in the parade by decorating a pull-along cart complete with Christmas-themed characters and lights. Please register your name at Mr C's in Staithe Street no later than 29th November.

 It is expected that Santa will arrive on the Quay at around 6.30pm before heading for his grotto at Playland amusements in time to see children from around 7pm onwards.

 The traditional fireworks display will take place over the marshes shortly after Santa has stepped on dry land following his long journey down from the North Pole.

 In order to keep the public safe ahead of Santa’s arrival The Quay will be closed to all traffic from 4.30pm to 8pm. We aim to reopen all roads as soon as it is safe to do so.