There will be plenty to do this festive season in Vila Real de Santo António where holiday festivities will officially begin with the opening of the Christmas Village at Praça Marquês de Pombal on Friday, November 29.
Doors will open at 6.45pm with the arrival of Santa Claus to the sound of the Banda Filarmónica de VRSA.
The Christmas Village will be open every day between 11am and 8pm until January 6. There will be carrousels, a playground, musical performances, a handicraft and gastronomy fair, a Christmas race/walk and, of course, Santa’s house and toy shop which younger visitors will be invited to explore.
Another highlight of the local Christmas programme is VRSA’s “giant nativity scene” which will be open to visits between November 30 and January 6 at the António Aleixo Cultural Centre. The nativity scene has become an unmissable Christmas attraction because it is made with over 5,500 figures.
Three Christmas concerts are planned, the first featuring the Conservatório Regional de VRSA at the headquarters of Glória Futebol Clube at 9pm on December 12 and the second and third starring the Banda Filarmónica de VRSA at the Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Dores in Monte Gordo at 9pm on December 21 and a day later at 4pm at the Igreja Matriz de VRSA.
People will also be able to help the needy by leaving food and essential items such as toiletries at the charity Christmas tree which will be set up at the municipal library until the end of December. The items will then be delivered to the ‘Gente Pequena’ children’s shelter in VRSA.
The festivities will also take place in other parts of the municipality.
In Monte Gordo, the festivities will begin on Saturday, December 7 with the opening of its own Christmas Village on the Avenida Marginal. It will be open on weekends from 10am to 5pm.
A Christmas party is also planned in Vila Nova de Cacela on December 15 at 3pm at Largo Manuel Cabanas while Cacela Velha will host a Christmas market on December 8 between 10.30am and 5pm.
In Santa Rita, the Centro de Investigação e Informação do Património de Cacela (CIIPC) will be hosting a workshop on how to make Christmas wreaths with “local foliage” on December 7 at 3pm and displaying a nativity scene made by local citizens until January 6.