TENBURY Wells set to host a festival of fayres and fables, mistletoe and music.

On December 5, the pretty town of Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire will play host to the annual mistletoe festival; with a diverse range of activities, celebrations, seasonal fayres and entertainment.

Using a variety of 'celebration zones' in the heart of town, the festival hopes to attract thousands of visitors from across the West Midlands for a day that traditionally marks the importance of mistletoe as Christmas approaches.

The Kings Head public house will become a 'performance zone' from 11am, with the Worcestershire Levellers performing music as diverse as folk, rock and shanty; as well as the festival favourites for which they have become so well known in the region. New for this year is the mistletoe open mic sessions where anyone with a few acoustic or semi acoustic favourites can 'take centre stage.'

The mistletoe music theme will also take over the town's Pump Rooms from noon, with a locally-organised competition to find the area's best singing group from any of the schools, colleges and community groups that have been invited to join in.

December definitely needs a 'shopping zone' and Tenbury Wells offers both the Christmas craft and vintage fayre at the Kings Head in Cross Street from 11am until 5pm and the winter fayre at the nearby Crow Hotel; selling mistletoe, locally produced foods and creative gifts by local artists. A number of small, unique and independent retailers in the town will also be adorned with mistletoe, holly and berries as they welcome visitors with everything from seasonal inspiration to Christmas essentials.

Dressed in cloak and glitter, the writer, raconteur and spoken word artist Chloë of the Midnight Story Tellers, will head up the 'activity zone' in Tenbury Library on Teme Street; presenting the mistletoe tales and an enchanting collection of family festive fables.

Well-known willow sculptor and wire artist from Ledbury, Victoria Westaway, will share her skills and enthusiasm with any families and children who want to create their own mistletoe willow hearts. Her talent has already been recognised by the designers and specialist nurseries who have commissioned her work for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Victoria's stunning large scale willow sculpture depicting Tenbury's mistletoe queen will be a centrepiece throughout the day and as a fitting finale to the festival at Santa's Parade.

At the heart of the festival a 'royal entourage', including the mistletoe queen, her holly prince, royal attendants and their loyal subjects, will parade through the town at 3.30pm; to celebrate the importance of mistletoe locally, nationally and worldwide. On the day, the mistletoe festival will feature the traditional crowning of Tenbury's mistletoe queen.

As England's mistletoe capital, Tenbury Wells can boast royal approval as Queen Victoria's 'Little Town in the Orchard'. The town is surrounded by gently rolling hills blanketed with hundreds of beautiful and ancient apple orchards that are a favourite host for the parasitic mistletoe plant.

Festival organiser for the Tenbury Mistletoe Association, Caroline Palethorpe said; -

" Mistletoe harvested in Worcestershire and Herefordshire travels all over the world and this gives Tenbury Wells an international name and a small but significant place in the festive celebrations. Having our schools, colleges, families and other community supporters all involved in welcoming and entertaining visitors at this time of year is lovely to see at a local level. We hope to attract lots of people to Tenbury Wells for the day . . . to collect their mobile kissing devices !"

As a part of the whole 2015 season, National Mistletoe Day on December 1, will be celebrated locally. National holly and mistletoe sales will take place at Burford House Garden Store on Tuesday, National Mistletoe Day itself and finally, on December 8. All sales start at 11am. A Druids thanksgiving ceremony will be held on the Burgage at 3pm on November 28.

More information about the 2015 Mistletoe Festival can be found at tenburymistletoe.org/festival.html.