Gallery: Fenland Christmas Market
BY ANNIE APPLEBY JUST after 4am on Monday stallholders started arriving and setting up their stalls throughout Wisbech for the fourth Fenland Christmas Market. Selling a host of goods to tempt the Christmas shopper the fayre on offered ranged from venis
BY ANNIE APPLEBY
JUST after 4am on Monday stallholders started arriving and setting up their stalls throughout Wisbech for the fourth Fenland Christmas Market.
Selling a host of goods to tempt the Christmas shopper the fayre on offer ranged from venison sausages, handmade knitwear, books, and cakes to mistletoe. Accompanied by the aromas of a hog roast and mulled wine the event got off to a fine start on a cold-but dry, day.
At precisely 9:30am The Beadle, dressed in full regalia, rang the town's bell, called for order and asked all to be silent for his Worship the Mayor of Wisbech, Cllr. Jonathan Farmer.
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After welcoming townsfolk and visitors the Mayor formally declared the 2008 Fenland Christmas Market open to rapturous applause.
Children from Elm Road School presented the Mayoress with a bouquet and sang carols for the enjoyment of the crowd. The Clarkson Singers, conducted by Cllr. Bruce Wegg, embraced the morning's visitors with a repertoire of seasonal tunes followed by Wisbech Grammar School choir, consisting of pupils from the third form through to Upper Sixth, who sang both Christmas and secular pieces to shoppers, conducted by Jane Missin.
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Finally over a hundred children from the Nene Infant School gave their rendition of Christmas Carols and nursery rhymes-in all a magnificent start to the fourth Fenland Christmas Market!
Mike Chapman, Markets Manager said: "We had over 10 coaches from places such as Derby, Enfield and South Yorkshire with an estimated 8,000 visitors in all to the event making it a great success.
"We had fantastic partnership support from Cambs. County Council and other stakeholders. The Pearly Kings and Queens and Victorian Strollers have said they'd love to come again. A reception in the Council Chambers for guests, hosted by The Mayor, was wonderful".
The Pearly Kings and Queens and Victorian Strollers were just a few of the performers that came for the Christmas Market. Stilt walkers, Jesters, Clowns and Musicians entertained and delighted the visitors and children. Of course the Christmas Market wouldn't be complete without 'the' special guest Father Christmas who arrived, of course, on his sleigh in the Horsefair Shopping Centre.
Centre Manger, Kevin Smith, said: "Father Christmas, was organised by the Wisbech Lions, he proved very popular with the young children all day long. On the whole the Event feedback that I've received from shoppers and tenants is very positive, the various stalls and attractions were very well supported in the Horsefair Shopping Centre especially the display of owls along with a very large hawk who proved a particular hit with visitors. During such a tough time in retail it was fantastic to see the town centre alive and buzzing with festive cheer".