Cumbria Crack

Penrith Sparkle a Huge Success

Photo Ryan Lomas

Penrith Sparkle filled the town with festive fun last weekend. BBC presenter Stuart Maconie switched on the Christmas Lights, the centrepiece of which are three 11ft sparkling angels, sponsored by local businesses, Ghyllmount Dental, Leo Group and Dodd Wealthcare.

The celebration of all things Christmas was organised by Penrith Business Improvement District. A small team of volunteers hatched a plan back in January, which developed into a full day of events to compliment the lights switch on. Penrith Mountain Rescue Team bought Santa on his sleigh, Princess Elsa was having selfies taken with the children and there was face painting, giant games and circus fun to be had.

In front of the 11ft angels are L-R: Darren Broad (Chair of Penrith BID), Dan Harding (Penrith Sparkle Director in Charge), Stuart Maconie, Philippa Ball (Penrith BID Administrator/Manager) Photo Ryan Lomas

Just before the switch on, the Jam Jar Lantern Parade saw 200 children parade through town and Princess Elsa hitched a ride on Santa’s sleigh. Dan Harding a volunteer director with Penrith B.I.D., who led the team organising the event, said: “The day was a huge success and sets good foundations to grow and succeed this year. We’ve learnt many lessons and we have our ups and downs as well as sleepless nights to ensure Penrith Sparkled once again. I’d personally like to thank all the businesses that continue to contribute through their BID levy, the sponsors and all the other volunteers that made it possible.”

The Treasure Hunt is still running, starting at Arragon’s Cycles. Children can follow the Jam Jar Lantern clues for the chance to win a £20 voucher, kindly donated by Argos. There’s also a ‘snap an angel selfie’ competition running. All you need to do it take a selfie with one of the angels and post it to Facebook, copying in the sponsor and Discover Penrith.

The prize is a fantastic eBike Experience for Two from Arragon’s Cycles. Details are available at

Darren Broad, Chair of Penrith B.I.D. said: “The day was a huge success with the whole community, young and old, coming together to support our town’s businesses and celebrate Christmas.

“I would personally like to thank all the businesses, our sponsors and co-funders for making Penrith Sparkle! Many thanks go out also to Stuart Maconie for his support of the town and the event and also to the School Choirs, Penrith Mountain Rescue and our team of volunteers that helped to make it happen.

“Penrith Lions were a vital part of the team, freely giving their time and sharing their experience to ensure the day was a success.

“It is a great example of what can happen in a town if different groups and organisations come together with one goal and deliver something special for the community as a whole.

“In this digital age, when many things are bought online, the Internet cannot replace the feeling and the excitement of shopping local during a Christmas event and meeting Santa!”

The BID wish you a Happy Christmas and hope you enjoy the Christmas lights over the coming weeks. Same time, same place next year?!

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