“Events” like street parties, carnival, pedal car, fireworks and lights switch-on don’t simply happen – they take months of planning by dedicated volunteers whose only reward is seeing the pleasure that they give to people and, in many cases, raising money for charities and other good causes.

Sadly, most of the preparations that had gone into planning 2020 events went to waste, thanks to the dreaded Covid 19 but actually, not quite all.

Remembrance commemorations took place and were shared by thousands of residents on-line and despite the fact that there was no huge Christmas Market (it would have been the biggest yet had we not been forced to cancel), no big lights switch-on and no Christmas Eve carol singing in the Market Place, Christmas in Ringwood most definitely has not been cancelled!

The “Winter Wanderland” is in full swing with a record number of entries this year for the window display competition (and many others who have put on displays but didn’t enter).

More than 700 of you voted for your favourites.

In addition, there will be a “Follow the Star” arranged by the churches and a “Spot the Oddity” competition with great prizes.

Ringwood TV have produced a wonderful film highlighting our shops and businesses and encouraging us all to ‘support local this December’.

Father Christmas arrived secretly to turn on the spectacular lights and the Ringwood TV video of that event has found its way around the globe with over 11,000 views and counting (not to mention the thousands of views of the earlier messages from Santa).

The Rotary collection for Christmas presents for disadvantaged children is in full swing and thanks to Round Table, Santa has been touring the town in his sleigh on numerous occasions over the last few days much to the gleeful surprise of our youngest members of the community.

On Sunday, 20th December, Churches together have arranged two “drive in” Community Carol Services at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Long Stay car park but tickets have to be strictly controlled thanks to Covid restrictions.

The church bells will be rung at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and everyone is invited to stand on their doorsteps, ring a bell and maybe sing a carol or two with their (socially distanced) neighbours.  The bells will also ring on Christmas morning.

Keep an eye on the Ringwood TV and Town Council Facebook pages (and the Town Council website) for our videos and of course for the winners of all the different competitions.

None of this would be possible without the support of sponsors, volunteers and of course the residents of our wonderful town who have joined in and who are supporting our local businesses.

They are all far too numerous to mention but thank you one and all and may I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a rather better New Year than 2020.

Cllr Philip Day, Chair of the Ringwood Events Team