It was 5pm on a festive Friday evening in Helston and the shops were open for Christmas Late Night Shopping.
The evening commenced with Nansloe Academy Children’s Choir enchanting the audience with Christmas Carols. Santa introduced Helston Mayor Tim Grattan-Kane, who welcomed everyone and officially opened the first of three Christmas Late Night Shopping evenings. Gareth Looker, Chair of Helston Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the event, thanked the sponsors and supporters before announcing the schedule of activities happening in between shopping.
Meneage Street and Coinagehall Street were lit up with Christmas lights and the wonderfully seasonal shop windows. Many shops have gone to town with their Christmas window decorations. From Poundstretcher at the bottom of Coinagehall Street up to The Lady Eve Vintage at the top of Meneage Street, shops had special offers and festive gifts on display ready for shoppers to tick off their Christmas list. At 5.30pm, 42 The Living Room had unique and theatrical storytelling with visually stunning puppets supporting the narration. The atmosphere at 42 The Living Room was Christmassy and cosy. This was perfect family entertainment with short stories to set the mood and tone before shopping. Santa also called in to say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Meanwhile outside by the Christmas tree next to Grylls Monument the Penzance Guizers entertained with their foot tapping Cornish folk music and traditional dances. Helston Mayor Tim and Santa lead the dancing line.
Further up Coinagehall Street at Fisherman’s Mission, the shop was bustling with Children engaged in their special annual Christmas gift wrapping activity. Up along Meneage Street the Helston Town Band serenaded shoppers with Christmas tunes. The ladies of Acapella Sound sang Christmas classics and the street resounded with their sweet harmonies. Passing a lot more shops, next to The Lady Eve Vintage, in front of VW Garage forecourt the Helston Chamber Choir sang two sets of carols.
All of the entertainment was a bonus to the bargain filled Christmas shopping. It was delightful to see the shops open late. There were 32 businesses along Meneage Street and Coinagehall Street that participated in the first of three Christmas Late Night Shopping. Back for two more fabulously festive evenings, many of the shops will reopen for Christmas Late Night Shopping on Fridays 16th and 23rd December from 5pm til late.
By popular demand there will be more focus on the shops and their special offers than on entertainment. However, Santa will be back strolling along the streets and ready to welcome the young ones and take a photo. The Nutcracker Trail continues. Pick up a Nutcracker map from Bowdens Home Hardware. Track down ten shops that have a Nuctracker soldier displayed. Write down the names of the ten shops on the back of the map and drop off your map at Gilchrist Exotics to enter the prize draw to win a family pass to Flambards and a £50 gift voucher at your choice of participating store. As you shop, ask for a FREE voucher to enter the lucky draw for the Deluxe Festive Hamper filled with Champagne, Prosecco and lots of festive goodies.
See you in Helston for Christmas Late Night Shopping this Friday 16th December 2022 from 5pm til late.
Photography by Louise Down
Video edit by David Barrett