Otley’s Christmas events 2018

From the bustling streets of the Victorian Fayre, through the magical Christmas Tree Festival to fabulous concerts, there’s something for everyone in our 2018 Events Calendar.

Christmas Lights Switch On
Monday, November 26
Join Britain’s Got Talent star Jamie Lee Harrison to kick off Otley’s Christmas season in style as the loveable Geordie folk singer switches on the 2018 Christmas Lights alongside Mayor Cllr Mary Vickers and Carnival Queen Lily Cullen. Jamie will be performing just before the big finale, while other acts appearing include Prince Henry’s Emeli Mumford, who will be performing her charity single Dear Santa in aid of Save The Children, and the Otley Brass Band.
Market Place, 5.30pm-7pm, free entry.
See otleytowncouncil.gov.uk

Father Christmas’ Grotto
Weekends throughout December
Take the children along to meet Santa and pick up an early Christmas present. Father Christmas will be popping into Stephen H. Smith’s on weekends throughout December to take Christmas requests from the little ones. All proceeds go to Otley Lions.
Stephen H. Smith’s, 10am-4pm on
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23, £6.
See stephenhsmiths.co.uk

Otley Snowman Trail
Saturday, Dec 1-Saturday, Dec 22
Pick up a free trail map and use it to make your way around the town to discover the various snowmen hidden away in shops and people’s gardens. Decide which are your favourites and vote for them to win one of the coveted category prizes.
Various locations around town, free entry, donations to the Snowman Trail charity Hang on to a Dream are welcome.
See otleysnowmantrail.weebly.com

Otley Methodist Church Lost Sheep Trail
Saturday, Dec 1-Sunday, Dec 23
In December Otley Methodist Church’s toy sheep go shopping and get lost in the town. Help the church find them ahead of the Christingle Service at 4pm on December 24 by seeking them out on this fun trail around the town’s shops. Answer sheets are available at Otley Library, Otley Methodist Church and the Victorian Fayre. There will be a small prize for the first set of correct answers drawn on Christmas Eve.
Various locations around town, free entry.
See wandamethodists.org.uk

Messy Church
Saturday, December 1
Messy Church is an opportunity for families of all ages to visit church and enjoy making things around a theme from the Bible – the December theme is ‘Getting Ready for Christmas’, to help us face the challenges of the weeks ahead.
Otley Parish Church, free entry.
See otleyparishchurch.org

Otley Victorian Fayre
Sunday, December 2
Possibly the biggest Christmas celebration in the Wharfe Valley, Otley’s unique Victorian Fayre draws some 20,000 visitors to the town to enjoy more than 100 stalls, as well as a fairground and street entertainment. School choirs will be singing carols on the stage in Market Place.
Town centre, noon-6pm, free entry.
See victorianfayre.co.uk

Handel’s Messiah
Saturday, December 8
Otley Choral Society with their sister choir the Ilkley Choral Society will be performing this popular work alongside the excellent Yorkshire Chamber Ensemble and soloists from the Royal Northern College.
Otley Parish Church, 7.30pm, £15 for adults, free for students and children. Available from Brown’s Gallery.
See brownsgallery.co.uk

Otley Christmas Tree Festival
Wednesday Dec 12-Saturday Dec 15
This magical festival sees 40 Christmas trees dressed by local charities and community groups, with visitors encouraged to drop a few coins in the buckets under their favourite trees. Musical performances take part throughout and there is also a café.
Otley Parish Church, noon-6pm (Dec 12) then 10am-6pm (Dec 13, 14, 15), free entry, charity donations welcome.
See otleychristmastreefestival.co.uk

Lunchtime Recital: A Victorian Christmas
Thursday December 13
An afternoon of long-lost Victorian Christmas songs featuring Martha Hayward (Soprano) and Matthew Lazenby (Piano).
Otley Courthouse, 1pm, £5 plus booking fee.
See otleycourthouse.org.uk

Christopher’s Christmas
Saturday December 15
This delightful puppet show tells the story of how guinea pig Christopher and his family attempt to save Christmas when Santa’s sat-nav breaks down.
Otley Courthouse, 1pm, £9 adults/£7 children plus booking fee.
See otleycourthouse.org.uk

Narthen Christmas Show: Coope, Simpson, Fraser & Freya
Friday December 21
This quartet brings its seasonal show, packed with a cappella carols, songs and instrumentals, back to Otley by popular demand. The perfect evening to get you into the Christmas spirit.
Otley Courthouse, 8pm, £13 plus booking fee.
See otleycourthouse.org.uk