IT’S that time of year again! Stroud Goodwill returns on Friday and as usual there’s a fantastic festive line-up with all sorts of seasonal activities extending throughout the evening for young and old alike. Santa Claus himself will be counting down to the Christmas lights switch-on at 6pm and after there will be a lantern-lit procession through the streets of Stroud. There will also be music, markets and Morris dancing, not to mention a treasure hunt for eagle-eyed youngsters. Just remember there will be road closures so come into town nice and early and have a browse in the town’s shops for something to buy your loved ones this Christmas.

YOUNGSTERS are being invited to take part in a special Goodwill Treasure Hunt during Friday’s festivities.

A host of stores will be participating in the event which has been laid on for eagle-eyed children, who will need to cut out the enclosed form to take part.

This year, those who take up the challenge will have to identify items in the windows of participating shops which don’t usually belong there.

For example, if youngsters spot a carrot in the window of Bateman’s that item would be the odd one out because the sports store isn’t in the business of selling vegetables.

Treasure hunters should therefore record the odd items on their cut-out form and return it to Mills’ Cafe at the end of the night to be in with a chance of winning.

Bateman’s, R and R Books, Kendrick Street Gallery, the British Heart Foundation store, Caer Sidi Crafts, Treasure Seekers, Cornflower and Calico, the Made in Stroud shop, Moonflower and Moonflower too will all be on the treasure trail and hiding incongruous items in their windows.

A number of shops will also be taking part in the Goodwill window competition, with displays based on themes ranging from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to The Night Before Christmas.

Father Christmas is due to turn on the lights outside the Sub Rooms at 6pm, with the lantern-lit procession following after at 6.15pm.

Starting at the Sub Rooms, this year’s route for the procession takes in John Street, Threadneedle Street and Kendrick Street, before finishing at the bottom of the High Street next to the park gates.

This year, organisers are welcoming all types of lanterns made in any theme with the only advice being the bigger the better.

Willow and tissue will be provided on the night to anyone who wishes to make traditional lanterns.

There will also be a range of gift markets in Cornhill, the Subscription Rooms, Shambles and Shambles indoor market as well as the charity stall market in the Merrywalks precinct.

Goodwill organiser Lis Parker, said: “Stroud Goodwill is always a wonderful community event and a brilliant opportunity to show goodwill to one another and light up the town.

“We would encourage as many people as possible to come along. It’s an opportunity for all ages to enjoy themselves amid a really great atmosphere with some fantastic musical acts.”

Musical line-up

Stroud Song – performing from 6.15pm on the corner of the High Street and Kendrick Street

Stroud Ukuleles – inside Merrywalks from 5.30pm and the indoor market at The Shambles from 6.30pm

Brass band – Sub Rooms forecourt from 6.30pm

Methodist Church Band – Sub Rooms forecourt from 5.30pm

Stroud College Performing Arts students – performing at the Sub Rooms throughout the evening

Eliza Duo; violin and accordion – busking around the town

Rinky Dink Sound System – King Street from 5.30pm

Ruth Liengaard’s concertina – busking around the town

Jazz Friday – at the Sub Rooms throughout the evening

Sub Rooms

A GIFT and craft fair is being staged at Stroud Subscription Rooms as part of the Goodwill celebrations on Friday evening.

The fair, which is taking place in the Ball Room, will play host to a variety of stallholders selling all sorts of festive trinkets, Christmas goodies and general bric-a-brac.

Inside, Mr Twitchett’s cafe and bar will be open for those in need of refreshments, as too will the Tourist Information Centre, which is staying open especially for the festivities.

There will also be a special exhibition in the George Room and various musical acts performing on the Sub Rooms forecourt throughout the evening. 

Stroud Valleys Project

ENVIRONMENTAL charity Stroud Valleys Project will be contributing to the Christmas magic at their shop in Threadneedle Street.

SVP is running a special workshop for children to teach them how to make Christmas tree decorations out of beeswax.

The charity, which is hoping to have a snow machine for the second year running, will also be giving youngsters the opportunity to decorate their own bag so they can do all their Xmas shopping in an environmentally-friendly fashion.

Rinky Dink Sound System

PEDAL power will ensure the soundtrack to this year’s Goodwill Festival is a sustainable one as the Rinky Dink Sound System returns for another year.

The bicycle-powered sound system, which always proves one of the top attractions, will be playing tunes in King Street from 5.30pm.

Goodwill-goers can keep the music playing by having a go at spinning the pedals themselves, or they can just twist and turn to the sound system’s jingles and dance the night away.

Music from Matilda

REVOLTING rhymes from the musical Matilda will be performed in Merrywalks Shopping Centre from 6.30pm.

The rhymes will be sung by a group from the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, which normally meets at St Matthews Church of England Primary School in Stroud.

They will also be treating those in attendance to carefully-choreographed dance routines, which will be performed along with the music.

Road Closures

STROUD sea cadets have taken on the task of manning and enforcing the road closures for this year’s Goodwill Festival.

London Road and Bedford Street will both be closed from 5.30pm until 9pm for the festivities.

Exceptions will only be made for emergency services, taxis picking people up and residents.