It was mulled wine and mince pies all round this weekend, as hundreds of thousands flocked to Bury St Edmunds’ main event of the year - the Christmas Fayre.
The event, which was named the UK’s best Christmas market last year, kicked off across the town on Thursday afternoon and ran throughout the weekend until 5pm yesterday.
Visitors were spoiled for choice with over 300 trade stalls selling food, drink and gifts set up around the town, from the Abbey Gardens to the arc.
Sharon Fairweather, event organiser, said: “I think it was a great success. We’ve had lots of great comments from visitors, businesses and traders. We were also very lucky with the weather.
“St Johns Street was brilliant this year and they had on a great street fair and there were also lots of new stalls up at the arc and the fireworks were amazing. There was lots to offer and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”
Festive activities also included fairground rides, a spectacular fireworks display in the Abbey Gardens on Thursday evening, and a host of musical entertainment, including church choirs, school bands and a traditional carol service.
The Bury street market was up and running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while some of East Anglia’s finest chefs, including Mark Poynton, Chris Lee and Jeremy Medley, gave cooking demonstrations and offered free tasty samples to guests.
While official figures are still being calculated, the leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Councillor John Griffiths, said he believes they are on target to match if not beat the 120,000 visitors that attended last year’s fayre.
“Not only does it help to get West Suffolk into the Christmas mood but has real benefits for our local communities, economy and tourism. We saw community groups showcased across the weekend making it a real family event to enjoy while it helps keep West Suffolk on the map of top destinations to visit throughout the year,” he said.
“At the same time it gives local businesses and traders an opportunity to benefit and Christmas shoppers time to get some bargains in our great town. This is just one of the markets and events we support across the area all year to support our local economy and communities. There will always be things we can learn and do better and we will look at what has gone well and what we can improve on. I would also particularly like to thank our sponsors and supporters, especially the emergency services that gave such a friendly and reassuring presence. We can’t wait to see everyone again next year.”
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