One of the best things about Christmas is that it gives us the opportunity to get together to support and celebrate our communities. And across East Sussex towns and villages are putting on events to help families get into the festive spirit.

We’ve been checking out just some of the free events lined up during December that we can enjoy with family, friends and neighbours.


Christmas in Rye Festival poster

There can be few places in East Sussex more picturesque than beautiful Rye and the town’s historic backdrop will provide the perfect setting for festive celebrations at its Christmas Festival on 2 and 3 December. Late night shopping and live music is promised on the Friday evening followed by a full day of celebrations the next day. Four live music stages, a Christmas trail around the town and festive food and drink are all on the menu.


Shops and businesses in Battle are decorating their business fronts in the run-up to Christmas and local residents will get the chance to vote for their favourites. The town’s Christmas celebration takes place on Thursday, 8 December, with late night shopping and festive fun.

Battle Abbey lit up with a Christmas tree


In Lewes, residents will be celebrating “an old fashioned Christmas” at the town’s 90th annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, 3 December. Always a popular event, the parade will see a range of floats including vintage cars, marching bands, community and youth groups take to the streets from 5pm. There’ll also be the chance to take part in the Lewes Christmas trail.


If you think you’ve got the making of a “best dressed elf” you might want to get along to Hailsham on Saturday, 10 December. As well as the chance to meet Santa and enjoy festive food, drink, stalls and music, primary school age children can dress up as an elf to win a prize. And there’ll also be the chance to help Santa out by taking part in the town’s Find The Elf competition.


A range of stalls featuring local makers, bakers and crafts people will feature at the Hastings, Rother and Wealden annual Christmas market in aid of the Refugee Buddy Project. The event takes place in the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery 10am-4pm on Saturday, 3 December and aims to raise funds to help support those people seeking safety and sanctuary in our communities.

Warm up your vocal chords for Carol Singing in Hastings Old Town on Saturday and Sunday, 10 and 11 December. Children can take part in a treasure hunt at the event which will also feature live music and festive fun.


Eastbourne has a range of community events to ensure locals can get into the festive spirit. Winterland returns to Station Parade in the town from Thursday, 1 December with its wooden cabin market stalls and ice skating. That evening will also see festivities in Little Chelsea: Grove Road and South Street, with shopping, music, entertainment and even fireworks at 7pm.

The next day, Friday, 2 December, there’ll be lots of entente cordiale as visitors will get the chance to wish each other “Joyeux Noel” at the town’s French market in Terminus Road. Maybe an opportunity to stock up the Christmas cheese board?

In the same part of town on Saturday and Sunday, 3 and 4 December the Sussex Craft and Design Fair takes place showcasing the skills of local potters, artists, jewellery makers and more. And if you’re still stuck for Christmas gifts, the Christmas Market from 15-18 December in Terminus Road might just be what you need. As well as the usual festive offerings, the event also features local young traders.


For something a bit different Uckfield’s Holy Cross Church will be the place to be over the weekend from Friday, 2 December. The town’s “Festival of Christmas Trees” is once again promising a spectacular display of dozens of trees decorated and lit by local sponsors and organisations. In previous years more than 100 trees have been on display.

Seaford and Newhaven

An all-day market and family entertainment is promised at the Seaford Christmas Magic event on Saturday, 3 December, while the following week, on Saturday, 10 December it’s Newhaven’s turn to enjoy its Christmas Extravaganza with family fun and free entertainment in the town’s High Street.

These are just some of the community events lined up in December to support local business and traders and bring local communities together. Wherever you are, all of us at Your East Sussex wish you, your families, and your community a very Merry Christmas!

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