TENBURY was the place to be for anyone looking for an excuse to plant a juicy smacker on the lips of the lovely lass or charming chap of their choice.
It may be a parasite but mistletoe provides a great opportunity to get intimate and so it proved in Tenbury.
In fact it was positively encouraged as the town set about trying to break a world record for kissing. The challenge was to get into the Guinness Book of Records with the most number of kisses under a bunch of mistletoe in five hours.
This was just one of the activities that was part of the annual Mistletoe Festival.
It was just one element of a day dedicated to paying homage to the traditional ‘kissing tree’ that has long been associated with Tenbury.
The Mistletoe Festival also included a market that ran throughout the day as well as street theatre and readings.
As dusk started to descend there were also Druids and the annual crowning of the Mistletoe Queen – by tradition the head girl from Tenbury High School who was accompanied by her Holly Prince – the head boy.
The Tenbury Mistletoe Association organised the festival with a programme packed full of nationally acclaimed storytellers, poets, musicians, visual artists and street entertainers.
Activities included, a sparkling hour of winter fables and snowy stories.
The festival also included an activity zone where you can make your own fairy light stars to wave at Santa with RHS Gold Medal winner, Victoria Westaway.
There was also a talent spotlight in collaboration with Tenbury Music Festival to discover young local musicians.
At the end of the day and only when it was dark came the highlight of the year for many young children from in and around the town as well as those who were visiting.
This was the Santa Parade that made its way down the main street. Organised by the Tenbury Chamber of Trade it is part of a programme of activities to boost business in the town during the vital few weeks before Christmas.
Tenbury has been associated with mistletoe for as long as most people can remember.
It is known for the annual mistletoe sales that attract buyers from all over the country as well as from Europe.
The sales take place at Burford House Garden Store on the last Tuesday in November and on the first two Tuesdays in December. It enables traders to get the mistletoe in the shops in time for Christmas.
Although there is a long association with mistletoe, the first festival only took place as recently as 2004.
It is seen as a very important part of the marketing of the town and one of the organisers, Caroline Palethorpe, believes that in time the Mistletoe Festival can do for Tenbury what the food festival has done for Ludlow.
She says that mistletoe is something that Tenbury can claim as its own.
An entry as the global capital of kissing would also do no harm to the challenge of putting the town on the map.