Festive trees add sparkle to Otley All Saints Church

Wharfedale Observer: Helen and Tim Wilkinson are hoping lots of visitors will flock to the third Otley Christmas Tree Festival. Helen and Tim Wilkinson are hoping lots of visitors will flock to the third Otley Christmas Tree Festival.

Dozens of dazzlingly decorated Christmas trees are twinkling in Otley again.

The town’s 2013 Christmas Tree Festival got under way yesterday and runs through to Saturday.

Nearly 40 trees have been decorated by the town’s charities, community groups and schools and set up in All Saints Parish Church this year.

They can be admired between noon and 6pm except on Saturday, when viewing starts earlier at 10am, and visitors will also be treated to a mixture of recorded and live seasonal music with local choirs, musicians and groups taking part.

Now in its third year, the festival is an Otley Chamber of Trade initiative and the brainchild of former president Tim Wilkinson and his wife, Helen.

As well as bringing in more shoppers to the town over the festive period, the event raises money for many of the participating groups who have collection buckets under their trees.

Otley in Bloom’s entry this year should stand out as they’ve taken inspiration from the prospect of the 2014 Tour de France race passing through Otley and used mini bicycle wheels and yellow jerseys for their decorations.

Previous ‘themed’ trees have included entries decorated with poppies for the Royal British Legion and gingerbread horses for Riding for the Disabled.

The trees will remain in the church on Sunday when a Christmas Tree Carol Service will be held at 4pm.

Visit the festival’s new website, otleychristmastreefestival.co.uk, for more details.

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