Stortford's super Santaday
The countdown to Christmas started in Bishop's Stortford on Saturday.
Thousands of visitors packed the streets in the centre of town for the annual Christmas fayre, browsing through the 143 stalls filling North Street, Potter Street, Market Square and South Street, moseying through shops along the way.
Excited children lined up to greet Sparkle the reindeer in Coopers of Stortford’s tree-filled yard.
Throughout the day, little ones were entertained by Martin the magician, who performed his tricks, a stilt walker, fire eaters, pony rides and princesses.
The highlight of the day for many children was a visit to Santa in his Isabel Hospice Grotto in North Street. Father Christmas made a long list of gifts to bring back to town on Christmas Eve and kids who had been really good this year received an early Christmas present.
The Bishop’s Stortford Ukulele Society, Water Lane Theatre Company, Somewhere 2 Sing, Bishop’s Stortford Town Band, Thorngrove Primary School 20 Children’s Choir, Bishop’s Stortford Rock Choir and Tributo were just a handful of the many acts who filled the streets with music.
Cllr Colin Woodward, the mayor of Stortford said: “I think it was terrific.”
Cllr Woodward was at the market all day and he made sure he spoke to each one of the stallholders. “The majority were really positive,” he said. “Those who had not been before said they would book again and those who had been before said it was even better than last year.”
Many visitors to the town were left with a fantastic impression of the event. On Facebook, the Independent asked what people thought of the market. Wendy Seegar commented: “I was very pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I have ever seen the town so busy on a Saturday afternoon. There was a really good atmosphere, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.”
Some people, while they enjoyed the occasion, had a couple of suggestions on how it could be improved. Anita Thomas wrote: “Loved it. Only popped into town for a pint of milk and ended up spending £70 at stalls! If it extended into early evening with lights, I am sure more people would come for mulled wine and a bite to eat!”
Several others, including Anna Farrell, Margaret Sheldon and Michelle Gowlett also suggested that incorporating an official Christmas light switch on could make the fayre even better.
See lots more pictures in this week’s edition of the Independent.