On Saturday 25th November, Brighton's iconic seafront drew crowds for the launch of the first ever Tree by the Sea as local businesses joined forces for a festive Christmas light switch-on event, in aid of The Starr Trust. Local singing group, Rhapsody Artist Development performed in temperatures around 2 degrees Celsius, but the sun shone brightly and a crowd gathered to join in the festive fun. Santa and his elves from Brighton i360 also dropped by to say hello to visitors.
The huge 26-foot Nordic Fir Tree was the focus of the event, representing the spirit of togetherness during this joyful time of year, and is believed to be the largest community Christmas tree in Brighton & Hove this season.
Simon Haffenden, Head of Operations at Brighton i360, says: "We were delighted to collaborate with our seafront partners and The Starr Trust to co-host the Christmas tree light switch-on this year, which was a fantastic celebration for everyone involved. We hope that the tree will become a focal point for the seafront over the festive period."
Ambassador of the Starr Trust, local celebrity chef Momma Cherri attended and said: "There's no better place to be, than at Brighton seaside, with the fabulous Starr Trust, launching their 26 foot Tree by the Sea. The atmosphere was buzzing with visitors and locals as we tapped our hands and feet, and sang along to the melodic sounds of Seaford based Rhapsody Artist Development. It was also the perfect place to be as even Santa made an appearance with one of his elves. I've never been so proud to sport my red Ambassador’s hoodie."
Actor, Big Brother Winner and Ambassador to the Trust, Jason Burrill attended to show his support on Saturday, saying: "It was great to see and hear one of Starr Trust’s supporters Rhapsody Artist Development singing on the seafront with all the locals and visitors to the wonderful attractions Brighton has to offer. Starr Trust does so much for the community and it is again an honour to be involved. Looking forward to the year ahead working with Starr Trust in supporting some amazing young people."
Tracey Starr, Fundraising Manager at the Starr Trust, says: "It was a magical event, we’re delighted the Brighton seafront businesses have chosen to support our charity with their inaugural ‘Tree by the Sea’ festivities. It will be wonderful to see the tree lit up and the local community enjoying the Christmas spirit at our much-loved seafront attractions. Thank you to all who came together to make it happen and to the brilliant young singers from Rhapsody Artist Development who added extra sparkle to the occasion."