Christmas is coming to Hamilton. Book the dates for the annual tree lighting and concert night, and the big parade, and get your costume if you want to join in the festivities.

The parade and the 27m Christmas tree in Garden Place are organised by the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust. Event manager Karen Watkins says more children are needed to dress up and be in the parade.

Karen says an exciting new float in the parade this year will feature the children's cartoon characters from PJ Masks. If, like me, you have never heard of them, ask your kids or grandkids!

As usual, Christmas season will be officially launched in the city with the lighting of the tree. This year it is on Saturday November 30. The fun begins at 6pm with free children's entertainment, balloons, and face painting with music on the stage and lighting of the tree at 9pm. Start spreading the word to your friends and family.


Karen says the talented elves in the technical department are working on another new lighting programme for the tree this year. The music will include Mosaic, a community choir from Cambridge.

The Christmas Parade on December 8 will have lots of pre-parade entertainment from 1.15pm with the parade starting at 2pm and finishing by 3pm.

Karen is also appealing for helpers to take care of a few small jobs to ensure all the floats are looking spic and span for the parade.

"We are in need of a Man Friday, or a Woman Friday to help with some building and repair work on some of the floats," she says.

These youngsters got in early choosing what they want to dress up as to be extras in the First Credit Union Christmas Parade on Sunday December 8. They are two jellyfish, a toadstool, a playing card and a fish, but Anthea Thompson (centre) of That's A Wrap costume hire in Hamilton East has plenty of other ideas to share.

■Don't miss your chance, contact Karen at admin@