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East Dulwich Christmas Cracker

‘Tis the season for much festive family merriment and community spirit; for Christmassy fanfares from local brass ensembles and heartfelt carol singing; for free mince pies and mulled wine whilst browsing your local high street for gifts; for tantalizing smells wafting from delicious street food stalls; for art trails showcasing work by local creatives; for Christmas gifts and gourmet treats aplenty at the seasonal market; not forgetting the appearance of the rescue donkeys to add to the festive spirit ….. this of course can only mean the return of the East Dulwich Christmas Cracker!

Now in its eighth year, the ever-popular community Christmas event will be returning to North Cross Road and Lordship Lane on Saturday, 7th December and will feature a host of fabulous entertainment, exclusive offers from the local traders, a seasonal extended market including unique and homemade gifts, delicious street food and gourmet items for your Christmas table and the return of the delightful Children’s Treasure Hunt in aid of LinkAge Southwark. In addition, there will be an Art Trail, where many retailers will be hosting local artists.

It’s a chance to crack on with your Christmas shopping and buy unique, beautifully crafted gifts, whilst supporting your local high street, makers and traders. Just think about all the plastic wrap and packaging you can save this way too!

This year there will be a number of locations for performances, including the mainstage on Northcross Road, outside the East Dulwich Picturehouse and outside the EDT by Goose Green.

The street festival programme includes trombone quintet Bone Direction; the jazz band with a New Orleans twist, Mississippi Swamp Dogs; fabulous local choir, Tongue and Groove and British Carnival champions Kinetika Bloco, a performance group with an exuberant mix of young musicians and dancers creating a unique British carnival sound. They draw their influences from the Caribbean, Brazil, Africa, New Orleans, funk and hip-hop. The line up also includes children’s choirs, pop-up buskers, a children’s disco, performance groups and much, much more. Your comperes for the occasion will be ‘The Two Wise Crackers’.

Explore the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery with a guided Street Art walk led by Amanda Greatorex; tickets for this are available via the Dulwich Festival website

Cracker goers will have the opportunity to witness the latest mural to adorn the neighbourhood live by local artist, graphic and fashion designer, Kit Neale, whose mother owned a toy shop on Lordship Lane for 15 years. Kit went on to become a successful catwalk designer and often draws inspiration for his designs from South London. Kit asked all shop keepers and market traders on North Cross Road to sum up the road in three words and drew on those descriptions to create a vibrant interpretation on what is East Dulwich’s much loved independent shopping space. It is sponsored by Southwark Council in an initiative to drive trade to the area and keep it green, clean and safe for the community.

For younger Festival goers, the London Fire Brigade will be on site with a fire engine, (subject to availability) that children can explore and learn all about the life of a fire fighting hero.

Children can also join in the LinkAge Treasure Hunt – just pick up a map at the LinkAge stall on North Cross Road – for a chance to win a fabulous prize if you can spot the knitted treasures made by older members of the community and hidden throughout local shops.

Along the way, you’ll find local artists exhibiting their work in several of the spaces on Lordship Lane and Northcross Road, including fine art; jewellery; ceramics; knitwear and neon signs. You’ll be spoilt for choice for original gift ideas.

There are all sorts of treats and discounts in store from your local retailers; from festive miso at Monkatsu; Coconut Shy craziness at Rye Books; cheerleaders and Dulwich Hamlet merchandise at Mac & Miller; mulled wine at Franklins; Insta style tutorials at Mary’s Living ‘n’ Giving and you can even meet the man in red himself at Little Clipper!

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas if you didn’t sport your favourite most outlandish festive jumper and Cracker organisers will be on the look out for the best of the best so make sure you wrap up warm for a chance to win a prize! Pop along to the Dulwich Festival info stall on North Cross Road wearing your prize sweater to enter.

If all the treats and goodies, shopping and carol singing has got you into a Christmas frenzy, then what better than some calm downtime with our furry friends, the rescue donkeys who’ll be on North Cross Road from 12-2pm.

There really is something for everyone. See you there!

The East Dulwich Christmas Cracker will take place on Saturday, 7th December from 11-5pm.

The Cracker is part of the Southwark Presents programme, funded by Southwark Council with contributions from local traders and produced by Dulwich Festival.

Download a copy of this year’s programme and details of the Art Trail here.

Take a look at the video for Christmas Cracker 2018.

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