PREPARATIONS are under way to give hundreds of residents on an Oxford estate a Christmas celebration to remember.

Hundreds of people are expected at a party and tree lighting ceremony in The Oval, Rose Hill, on Saturday.

Members from the different cultures in Rose Hill’s community met on Thursday to taste some of the food which will be on offer during the evening at Rose Hill Community Centre.

Rose Hill resident Comfort Oluwayomi, 36, said: “The food is very nice, so yummy.

“It is going to be fabulous, I’m excited already.

“We are bringing people together, it is going to be a great event.”

Father Christmas will switch on the Christmas tree lights with Minnie and Mickey Mouse at 5pm and this will be followed by live music from the Jub-ilee Brass band, with carols sung by children from Rose Hill Primary School.

There will be a host of different food dishes as well as music and dancing in the Rose Hill Community Centre and pony rides in The Oval.

Father Christmas will also hand out presents to all the children.

Rose Hill community worker Fran Gardner is organising the event with colleagues Ali Hall and Asha Rogers, using funding from housing association GreenSquare’s Big Lottery Fund Cultural Food grant.

Ms Gardner said: “It’s really important that we make the Christmas party a truly multicultural celebration.

“Our event committee is drawn from residents of many different cultures who advise the Lottery team on the type of food and music that should be available.

“We really appreciate their input.”

Scottish and Southern Energy Contracting (SSE) is funding the cost of a team to decorate trees in The Oval and providing the power to light them for six weeks.

Ms Gardner added: “We are doing something a bit different this year and decorating four large trees in The Oval.

“They should look very impressive with all their lights on.

“But that does add extra work for the SSE teams as they have four trees to light, not just one.

“Although everyone in our community celebrates Christmas in different ways, this is a fantastic time for people of all cultures to come together with family and friends, to celebrate, socialise and have fun.

“It promises to be a joyous occasion and I hope everyone comes along and gets into the spirit of things.”

Entry to the celebration costs 50p per person.

About 600 residents attended last year’s Christmas party on the estate.