Cold crisp weather and a big turnout, all helped make the Perry Common Christmas on Friday 1st December a fantastic event. The annual festive extravaganza keeps getting bigger each year.
New for this year was a Festive Trail around all the venues. This was very popular with people of all ages finding all the Festive Sheep to win prizes. It was good fun and a great way to see everything going on at all the diffeent locations.
The first stop on the trail was St Martin’s Church Hall, which was filled to bursting with stalls, filling two big rooms – selling a wide array of cakes, sweets, crafts, home-made cards and festive goodies to tempt everyone. There were even handmade ice cream cones made from different flavour marshmallows; very artistic and very tasty! The Bouncy Castle, just outside, was also very popular with the children.
Just next door was the Perry Common Men’s Shed, who were displaying an amazing range of their hand-made projects. The ‘Men’s Shed’ (though despite the name women are warmly welcomed), was set up just over a year ago. It’s a great project that aims to get men, especially but not exclusively older men, out of the house, socialising and generally being healthier, whilst making all sorts of creative and practical objects. All this takes place at their impressive full-size workshop – which they kitted-out themselves.
Next stop on the Festive Trail was The Underground; a fantastic local Youth Club run by Urban Devotion Birmingham. There was lots going on down there – and yes, it is Underground, being located in the basement of St Martin’s Church Centre. Recently refurbished, The Underground provided a warm welcome to everyone, having soft drinks available at their bar area, pool, XBOX, festive games and lots more.
After all this fun, there was a medley of live music at The Net Church, with superb performances from North Birmingham Academy, Urban Devotion Birmingham and festive carols and songs from the Ring Of Sound Choir.
Last, but certainly not least, it would not be a Christmas event without Santa in his grotto – and he was very popular indeed! Around 300 excited children waited in excitement to visit him, with his helpful elves around to help give out the presents. As the event was on 1st December, Santa decided it would be a good idea to give the children advent calendars, to enjoy their present every day until Christmas.
To keep Santa company, Perry Common Community Hall was full to bursting with families enjoying a wide range of festive activities, from arts and crafts by Perry Fun; balloon modelling and festive wreath and decoration making (in the traditional way with natural materials) with the Community Environment Trust.
Kelsie, age 7, who had been making glittery Christmas stockings said “I’m having a really good time. It’s good fun and we’ll have lots of glitter around the house now.”
These positive thoughts were also echoed by parent Donna Finnerty, who commended “This event shows a real sense of community. The children are all having a great time. The Festive Trail around the venues is a really good idea and the children will have these memories with them when they get older.”
Paul Tse, from Witton Lodge Community Association, who organised the event says: “It was a wonderful event. We had a great turn-out and everyone was having a good time. Santa in his Grotto was busy all evening and there were crowds of people at all the venues around The Ring – which were bursting with festive activities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped organise the evening and make it such a success. It was a really good start to the festive season and we have lots more events organised for 2018.