Bury St Edmunds puts on the ‘greatest show on earth’

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The festive sights, sounds and irresistible aromas of this year’s Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre are continuing to draw visitors to the town on its third day of celebrations.

Shoppers are being enticed by a variety of stalls while musical performances on Angel Hill and Charter Square are keeping the crowds entertained.

Seven-year-old Lucy Allum was among singers from St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s newest choir, St Cecilia Juniors, to perform on the Greene King stage on Angel Hill this afternoon.

Her ‘proud’ mother Karen Allum, of Great Barton, is a regular at the Fayre, now in its 10th year, and often has friends to stay for the weekend it runs.

“It’s good for the town - it brings people who will hopefully come again after the Fayre,” she said.

Mike Kirkham, business support officer for Bury Business Improvement District ourburystedmunds, said there was ‘a real community feel’ to Bury today and he thought the town deserved an award for putting on the ‘greatest show on earth’.

He said: “I have seen lots of activity, endless queues at cafes and restaurants and crowds of people across the town from Abbeygate Street to the Buttermarket, the arc, Cornhill Walk and St John’s Street.

“I have heard visitors say ‘what a lovely town, we’ll definitely have to come back and visit again,’ ‘the shops look so nice, they have made a real effort’ and ‘the best Christmas Fayre I’ve been to.”

Nicola Sexton said of the Abbeygate Street shoe shop named after her: “It has been phenomenal. We haven’t been able to move in the shop - an absolutely great day and even better than last year.”

Maria Crick, owner of the recently opened Café Del Mar, in St John’s Street, said: “It’s been an absolute superb day, such lovely customers coming from Northampton, Ipswich and all over. We’ve had excellent feedback which has helped raise awareness about St John’s Street as a whole.”

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

“Customers couldn’t believe we have only been open six weeks,” she added.

Kathryn Jackson and her 16-year-old daughter, Amie, from Redgrave, were first time visitors to the Fayre, having never been before today.

They had abandoned attempts to visit on previous occasions because of problems with traffic which they felt had improved somewhat this year.

Kathryn said: “It has been worth it today, I just love the smell of Christmas. But we were quite disappointed with the market (on Angel Hill) because we just couldn’t get around it. It might be worth introducing a one way system next year.”

Mr Kirkham said: “Today, for me, has brought about a real sense of Bury - businesses and stakeholders working together for the greater good of the town, making our visitors feel truly welcome, businesses doing what they do best, putting on a great display of their goods and providing great service, St Edmudsbury Borough Council and the parking attendants working hard and doing an excellent job in managing the huge volume of vehicles, local police interacting with the public and the Christmas Fayre events team doing a grand job in keeping everything going, and safe.”

Tourism officer Sharon Fairweather said “We have had over 80 coaches on Friday and Saturday and it has been very, very busy in the whole town today. Lots of people have commented how friendly everyone in Bury has been and that they will return again.”

The Fayre will run until 8pm tonight and from 10am-5pm tomorrow.

To find out more, visit www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk/

What did you think of the Christmas Fayre? What have been the highlights this year for you and your family?