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From wonderful Christmas trees that light up the town, to the beautifully decorated displays on shop & houses and “pop-up” seasonal surprises, Arundel in West Sussex is embracing Christmas as much as possible and in the safest way possible. To show prospective visitors that Arundel is a perfect and safe place to enjoy the Christmas spirit, Arundel Chamber of Commerce has commissioned and arranged for local filmmakers BeechtoBeach to create an inspiring film “Arundel is Christmas” which will be launched on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

While Arundel by Candlelight was postponed this year, Arundel is Christmas showcases what the town on the edge of the picturesque South Downs National Park has to offer including Arts; History and Culture. To bring the Campaign alive, the programme provides low-key socially-distanced activities to support the local high street and also includes the notion of “eat, drink, shop and be merry” where cafés and restaurants have created seasonal menus, and the bars/pubs will be looking festive.

Until Monday, December 18, 2020, Shops and Residents in Arundel are encouraged to decorate their homes and shop windows/façades for the Best Dressed Christmas Decoration Competition and the Mayor of Arundel, Tony Hunt, will be giving two prizes of £250 (one to residents and one to the shops’ chosen charity). The local children from the two schools – Arundel C of E and St. Philips have also been involved in the Campaigns’ Christmas Card Competition with prizes being awarded at the end of term.

Arundel is known for it’s independent businesses and retailers which sell clothes, food and wine, flowers, books, antiques, gifts, beauty treatments and much more – they will be staying open for Late Night Shopping on Friday, December 11, 2020 (until 8pm) and the Farmers’ Market will take place on Saturday, December 19, 2020 from 9am til 2pm. For those needing a gift for the person who has everything – various attractions including Arundel Castle; Arundel Lido and WWT Arundel Wetland Centre are offering Annual Memberships and many restaurants and hair/beauty salons will be selling gift vouchers.

All aspects of the town are getting involved and sharing their festive plans and also on offer will be virtual and ticketed events. Arundel Museum will be hosting a Family Christmas Trail; Hairdressers’ Gilded Pleasure is holding a charity haircut day with payment by food parcels for local food banks. Other events include “virtual” wreath making workshops via Zoom; Street food pop-ups at the Brewhouse Project; a virtual Gallery Trail; live streaming from Drip Action Theatre on Friday, December 11; Digby Fine English “virtual” tasting sessions; a Christmas pop-up shop at the Cathedral; bootcamps at the Lido; an Art exhibition at the Victoria Institute; a craft market at Nineveh House and Boxing Day tea at Swanbourne Lake.

As Sharon Blaikie, Chair of Arundel Chamber of Commerce explains: “The sense of Christmas has been successfully achieved early in Arundel this year. Once again the town is looking fabulous and festive, and the closer we get to Christmas – the better it’s going to look. We know that things have had to be done differently this year, but we are thrilled how the businesses and residents of Arundel are supporting us and one another in every way they can. The key message is about shopping safely in Arundel; Retailers have taken great measures to welcome us and continue to keep us safe this year – while keeping a safe distance but also about lightening our moods and lifting the spirits of our community. We would especially like to thank Festive Illuminations for all their hard work putting up Christmas trees all around the town and residential streets and the Norfolk Estate who have kindly donated the main tree.

She went on to say: “Now more than ever it is important for local residents, businesses, organisations and visitors from nearby to have a variety of safe experiences to look forward to. Arundel is Christmas offers an opportunity for local businesses to advertise and market their Christmas goodies further afield and link into other campaigns for support.

She continues: “We are delighted with the film, which is the third one in the series that we have worked on with beechtobeach over the past few months – the others being “Arundel is Your Destination” and “Arundel is Here For You” – these films underpin the campaign which supports commerce and celebrates community spirit showcasing a visibly safe and welcoming environment. We have had to look at being more creative in order to get the safety message out there and now we have brilliant footage for years to come”.

Jane Mote, Director of beechtobeach said: “We were happy to make this film to support the businesses of this wonderful town through the festive period. Arundel is a magical place with so much to do and see – hopefully these films will remind people of its delights and make them consider visiting to see the town during this special time of year.”