Lavenham Dickensian fayre and special guests Santa and Olaf attract 12,000 visitors to town

The Lavenham Christmas market.

The Lavenham Christmas market. - Credit: Archant

The annual Lavenham Christmas Fair has been hailed as the best ever, with around 12,000 people attending the “magical” picture postcard village over the weekend.

The Lavenham Christmas market. Jane Gosling (Guildhall Manager).

The Lavenham Christmas market. Jane Gosling (Guildhall Manager). - Credit: Archant

The fair, which was kickstarted when an “outstanding” 3,000 people attended the annual lights switch-on on Friday, featured more than 80 stalls and a range of live entertainment across the three days.

The stalls, on Market Place, sold a range of local crafts, food, drink and gifts, while the Ferris wheel and mini fairground rides also proved popular with families.

Roy Whitworth, vice chairman of Lavenham Parish Council, said: “I think this has been the best we have ever had. It has been exceptional, and the village has been incredibly busy.

“It kicked off fantastically on Friday and the atmosphere has been brilliant. The shops and businesses seem to be doing really well and the people I have spoken to have enjoyed themselves.”

The Lavenham Christmas market.

The Lavenham Christmas market. - Credit: Archant

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The fair featured live music and entertainment, including children’s favourites Olaf the Snowman from Frozen and a circus skills workshop.

Mr Whitworth added: “The music has been brilliant – we had an impromptu choir which was great and a ukulele band called the Dukes who were outstanding.”

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The fair also hosted Father Christmas in his grotto, to the delight of children, and a craft market in the village hall.

Carroll Reeve, chairman of the parish council, praised the “spirit” of fair and the visitors, but did raise concerns over parking.

“I think it was very successful,” he said. “It was well balanced and a good family event, judging by the queues of people for some of the rides.

“But there is an issue with the parking, which in a place like Lavenham is hard to resolve, but I would hope next year the organisers look at doing something.”

Lesley Thompson, a member of the organising committee, said: “It has been absolutely wonderful, definitely our best yet. We have been overwhelmed, in the nicest possible way, by the support.

“People are coming from all over, so there have been issues with the cars which we will have to do something about next year, but they have put up with the queuing in good faith and have been stunned by the magic of Lavenham.

“We have the playing fields and several other fields nearby where we could put coconut matting down and use as car parks, we are going to have to do something like that next year.”

See more Christmas news here

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