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After the Floods: Alternative Christmas Day

Friday, 12 February 2016

On 25th June 2016 in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale, there is going to be a "Hebden Royd Alternative Christmas Day".

Alternative Christmas Day

The idea is to make a local, regional and national statement, exactly 6 months after Christmas Day. To broadcast that we are Back Open For Business by holding a high-profile and an appropriately left-field event. Most of the damaged shops will have re-opened by then.

And it will be the perfect opportunity for our whole community to have a proper party.

There are all sorts of events and attractions planned for the day across the area, from a Christmas lunch for the volunteers that helped in the immediate aftermath and brass bands playing around the (replantable) Christmas trees to the return of the Festive Fandango and Christmas-themed street theatre, plus much, much more.

Rather than a "top down" event, the organisers are hoping for it to be very much grassroots driven, with individuals, businesses, schools and community groups all doing as much or as little as they feel like, so that the whole day ends up being much greater than the sum of the parts.

Everybody knows how Christmas works and, at a basic level, everyone has probably got access to a bit of tinsel and some coloured lights, so there are no real barriers to participation, ensuring that this becomes a genuinely community-wide event.

Further information is available in the Public Group on Facebook (no login required) and on Twitter and Instagram via @hbxmas25june so why not have a think about how you could take part and let us know.

Among the things confirmed, or at least likely, are:

  • A massive Christmas lunch for all the several hundred volunteers who came to help the area to be held at Riverside School in Hebden Bridge.
  • Replantable Christmas trees in all three towns, arranged by Hebden Royd Town Council with brass bands and choirs.
  • A Christmas theme running through the Mytholmroyd Gala to be held that day.
  • Various bits of Christmas-themed street theatre as part of the Arts Festival.
  • 6 artificial snow machines.
  • Fair For Youth moving from May to June 25th in Calder Holmes Park with activities, live music, things to see and things to do.
  • A free showing of "It's a Wonderful Life" on June 24th (possibly the Waterfront Hall or the Trades Club)
  • The Festive Fandango program running in the shops during the build up.
  • An Aussie Christmas barbecue at the White Swan
  • Daytime family activities at the Trades Club (as the footie's on that night) including closing the Holme Street to vehicles, subject to conversations with the affected businesses.
  • A Christmas Market in Hebden Bridge (probably in Lees Yard) with priority given to crafts and handmade items, and to traders, firstly from Hebden Royd, then from the borough of Calderdale.

Hebden Royd Alternative Xmas (HRAX) is supported by the following organisations: Hebden Bridge Community Association (Lead Partner), Community Foundation for Calderdale, Calderdale MBC, Hebden Royd Town Council, Hebden Bridge Business Forum, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.