Recent chilly temperatures in Wokingham were raised to a moderate thaw by the happy smiling faces of schoolchildren from around the borough. Eleven schools from the Wokingham area took part in the annual “Dressing of the Mayoral Christmas Tree Ceremony”.
Crowds braved the cold to gather in the town’s Market Place for the main event well before the scheduled 6pm and before too long, children and parents alike were dancing and shimmying as they enjoyed the festive music being played across the sound system. Schoolchildren have been making their own decorations in recent weeks and as is the tradition, they present them to the Town Mayor in a ceremony before the local townsfolk. The proceedings were warmly hosted by Wokingham Town Mayor, Councillor Martin Bishop, who was accompanied by the new Mini Mayor, Joe Southan of St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School.
Ava Akers, who is in Year 2 at the Westcott School was one of the children who had taken part in making decorations with her school for the Mayoral Christmas Tree. She said: “We made a star and put our own pictures on the star so it has our faces on!”
Wokingham Choral Society led the Carol singing at the event, which was attended by several hundred children, parents and relatives. Local charity JAC (Just Around The Corner) provided the refreshments after the ceremony, and the Town Mayor gave sincere thanks to everyone for turning out on such a cold and wintry evening. He also expressed his gratitude to the local branches of Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons for their donations of minced pies which accompanied the free treats and refreshments available.
The festive frills and glittery garlands will be adorning the Mayoral Christmas Tree over the coming days and will remain in place throughout the Christmas period.
Pictures: Lynda Bowyer