Hemel Hempstead’s popular Christmas event is back this year with free festive fun on Saturday 30 November.

Dacorum Borough Council has organised The ‘All New Christmas Festival’  with Hemel Hempstead’s Business Improvement District (BID), Riverside Shopping Centre, Marlowes Shopping Centre and Saunders Markets.

The revamped event takes place in the town centre from 11am – 7pm. Shoppers can take advantage of late night shopping as many retailers will remain open until 7pm.

Free activities plus live entertainment will be taking place across the town, starting at Riverside Shopping Centre, running into the Marlowes pedestrianised area and through into the Marlowes Shopping Centre.

Starting at 11am, activities include a giant snow globe, Christmas train rides, snow slope, climbing wall, go karts, toboggan slide, under six rides and a festive market.

The rock choir will be kick-starting the live entertainment on the Rainbow stage at 1pm, followed by a pantomime performance and many more popular acts including DJ Kentastic.

Santa Claus will then be joining DJ Kentastic at 4.30pm, ahead of the light switch-on with the Snow Princesses at 5pm. The fireworks display will take place at 5.15pm with festivities continuing until 7pm with DJ Kentastic playing Christmas songs.

Chris Taylor, Dacorum Borough Council's Group Manager for Strategic Planning and Integration said: “We are proud to work in partnership with members of the Hemel Hempstead Business Improvement District (BID) to deliver a very special Christmas festival. This event will bring our communities and businesses together in festive cheer for a full day of family fun and entertainment.”

Naomi Watkins, Hemel Hempstead Business Improvement District (BID) Manager said: “This year the Hemel Hempstead Christmas event will be something special. Both shopping centres, the local market and Dacorum Borough Council have worked together with the BID to create a spectacular town Christmas Festival. We will have a full range of stage entertainment, free rides and a few new special additions. We have also changed the day of the event to the Saturday, which means that parents won't have to worry about getting their little ones up the next morning after a full day of excitement.”

Ian Welland, Centre Manager at Riverside Shopping Centre said the day would bring a new timetable of events and activities to the town. “We’re delighted to be working alongside the BID, the Marlowes Shopping Centre, the market and Dacorum Borough Council – bringing a refreshing new timetable of Christmas events and activities to the families of Hemel Hempstead. The free event which spans across the whole of Hemel’s town centre is set to be pretty spectacular and we hope families have a truly fantastic day out.”

 And Marlowes General Manger, Humphrey Mwanza said the event would give shoppers a fun filled family day, kicking off Christmas in style.