December 7 2013 Latest news:
WORDS: James Podesta, PICTURES: Steve Williams
Saturday, November 2, 2013
There were witches, zombies and vampires as far as the eye could see as the people of Wisbech got into the Halloween spirit on Thursday.
More than 500 people of all ages attended the Horsefair Shopping Centre’s sixth annual Halloween Trick or Treat event, many of them in fancy dress.
The event had something for everyone - there was balloon modelling, a snake, an owl, a dance troupe, fairground rides and more.
Shopworkers dressed up for the occasion and handed out sweets and lollies.
The Mayor of Wisbech Councillor Sam Hoy had the difficult task of judging the fancy dress competition.
The entrants, modelling a variety of creative outfits, lined up as the mayor spent several minutes carefully picking the winners.
The best boy went to joker lookalike Alex Fisher, while zombie bride Mellisa Middleton claimed the honours in the girl category.
The pair won a tin of biscuits and a book.
The joker’s mother, Katie Lloyd said: “The outfit was a Christmas present. He loves it.
“When they announced the runners-up and he was not one his face dropped but that completely changed when he found out he won.”
Cllr Hoy said: “It was a lot of responsibility and I was worried I was going to upset a lot of children.
“It has been such a hard choice because there were so many wonderful entries.”
Many people present had been coming to the celebration since it began in 2008, but for others, like Lisa Dyer and her family, it was their first time.
She said: “It is a lot busier than we thought it would be and it’s great to see so many people have made an effort.”
Michael Jackson’s Thriller blazed out of the speakers as Wisbech dance troupe Kelly’s Dance Crew, made up of eight girls aged eight to 16, under the tutelage of professional street dancer Kelly Gibson, entertained passers-by.
Wendy Aliker, an owl trainer from Ye Olde Red Tail, drew a big crowd with her eagle owl Bou.
She said: “Bou is just over a year old. It is an eagle owl, which is the largest type of owl in Britain.
“It weighs 4lb but it has not stopped growing.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years but this is the first time I’ve come here. It’s fantastic to see so many children in fancy dress.”
Wisbech 4 Life, a healthy living group run by Cambridgeshire County Council, had a stall where they handed out oranges and bananas.
Kevin Smith, Horsefair manager, said: “There are more than 500 people here, which makes it by far our best attended event.
“All the shops have taken part in a truly community based event. We have worked in partnership with We Are Wisbech and Fenland District Council to make it happen.
“There is a lovely atmosphere and events like these are great for the town.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support this event has received. It is just nice to see families enjoying open spaces in the town centre.”
PC Dave Stevens, of Cambs Police, who was on duty in the town centre, praised the event.
He said: “Today is all about getting the community together and it’s nice to see lots of smiling faces.”
The Horsefair Shopping Centre’s Trick or Treat celebration was one of several events which were held in the town to celebrate Halloween.
A Halloween Moon Market took place in the market place where 30 stalls sold local crafts and produce and a children’s disco was held in the Wisbech Institute.
Both events were organised by We Are Wisbech, a community group which promotes diversity in the town.
After the disco the children took part in a parade of ghouls around the market place.
Dean Reeves, one of the organisers, said: “The market is bringing together our diverse communities to celebrate Halloween.
“We have concentrated on bringing in as many local crafts and produce stalls as possible.”
An evening market is set to become a regular feature in Wisbech town centre next year, Mr Reeves said.
He said: “We are trying to reclaim the market place after dark.
“We ran our first evening market in the summer and next year our intention is to have a monthly market from May to October.
“The more we do the more popular they will become.”