Kate Moss and Geri Halliwell among thousands at first Highgate Village Christmas Festival
Highgate Village has kicked off yuletide festivities in style this year after thousands of revellers enjoyed its very first Christmas festival on Saturday (November 17).
The village was transformed into a winter wonderland with fake snow, mulled wine and mince pies for all.
Santa arrived with his reindeer while three wise men, who were accompanied by a two-humped Bactrian camel, entertained a crowd of thousands - including model Kate Moss and Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
The evening was hosted by TV presenter and Highgate resident Alex Zane, who switched on the village lights amid thousands of cheers. He said: “Having lived in Highgate Village for nine years I was absolutely thrilled to have been asked to turn on the Christmas lights.
“I can now tick that box on my ‘things to achieve in life’ list.
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“The amount of effort that has gone into this year’s display was huge and to see so many people turn out for the big switch on was amazing.
“The atmosphere in the village all afternoon was brilliant and I can also forevermore say that I have seen a camel milling about in Pond Square.”
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Christmas cheers on the night went to Highgate Village Business Association, which organised the festival - and in particular to Jane Wiles, owner of children’s shop notsobig and Charlotte Bourne, from Taylor Gibbs Estate Agent.
The dedicated pair gave up hundreds of hours of their own time to make sure the event was a huge success.
Ms Wiles said: “The turnout and support exceeded our already high expectations and the success of the event demonstrates what can be achieved when the businesses in the village work together.
“Charlotte and I thank everybody who was a part of the event and we welcome any feedback as we are already starting work on next year’s event.”
Ms Bourne added: “We were so overwhelmed by the fantastic support of Highgate’s businesses and residents who contributed to making the event such a huge success.
“Everyone thoroughly enjoy the afternoon and evening immensely and the atmosphere was amazing.
“Thank you to everyone who supported festival.”
Special thanks also went to Chris Underhill, James Wilkinson, Allan Rapley, Akin Latunji, Esta Marshall, Helen Rapley, Angela Cruse, Trisha Georgiou, Giselle Harrison, John Robinson, Julia Underhill, Anne-Marie Bolger, Darren Smith, John Robinson, Julie Bramson, Daryl Ditchburn, Ned and Joseph Rapley, Daisy Greenall, Rosie Summerbell, Lesley Nightingale, Darren Smith and the village postman Alan Baker, who moved props and took photographs.
Mince pies and tea were provided by tea shop High Tea of Highgate, while the Angel Inn pub supplied mulled wine.
The newly opened Le Pain Quotidien gave away free hot chocolate and pasties while Gus Bodur sold hot roasted chestnuts to the sound of the Rogues Gallery band which played live music.
Children made a wish as they released balloons into the air to support the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation, a charity set up in memory of Channing School pupil Alexandra Wylie, who died at the age of 17 from cancer.
The evening would not have been possible without generous contributions from the festival’s sponsors.
They include Highgate Hospital, Streathers Solicitors Highgate LLP, Goldschmidt and Howland, as well as Highgate music legend George Michael.
The Ham&High, Haringey Council and company Festive Lighting, which put up the lights, were also thanked on the night.