Friday 11th December 2009 will once again see the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary light up the skies with thousands of candles as part of its annual Candlelight evening which this year includes new attractions such as a Santa’s grotto, a live Nativity scene and new Christmas lights.
Staff will be lighting over 15,000 candles from 3.30pm (weather permitting); each of the candles represents a dedication from supporters to the memory of a loved one, a family member, a friend or a special pet.
The Ross-On-Wye Town band will be adding to the celebrations by performing traditional Christmas carols in the Main Yard area and from 5.00pm the Sanctuary’s founder, Dr Svendsen along with Reverend Peter Leverton will be leading a carol service in New Barn and around the Main Yard.
This year sees the introduction of a superb Santa’s Grotto at Box 16, near Main Yard. In return for a £3 admission fee, children will be able to meet Santa and receive a gift. A stable in Main Yard will also be hosting a live Nativity scene.
In addition, the extraordinary donkey grotto will be selling Christmas novelties, including our distinctive knitted donkeys, from a stable in Main Yard.
The Hayloft Restaurant will be open and serving warming Christmas goodies such as mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies along with delicious take-away hot snacks. Mulled wine and mince pies will also be on sale from the video room on main yard whilst Christmas wreaths, crafts and hot drinks will be available at the Slade centre.
Events Co-ordinator Kate Bailey says ‘Our Candlelight evening is a truly unique Christmas experience and a very special way for us to share the season with our supporters. The whole sanctuary glows with a wonderful, cosy atmosphere and we would love visitors to wrap up warmly, come along and join in the fun.’
If you cannot join us this year but would like to take part, you can donate a virtual candle and leave a message. The carol service will also be available to watch with full sound via the website’s live-streaming webcam.