Popular festive fair begins in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Archant
The popular Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre has kicked off with a bang.
The annual event, now in its 11th year, opened with an evening aimed at the community, including a fireworks display for the first time.
The fair, which last year attracted about 120,000 people, features more than 300 stalls, two main stages showcasing entertainment, children’s activities, real reindeer and Santa’s grotto and post office. Schoolchildren were involved in a festive opening parade, led by a jazz band in Father Christmas costumes, which made its way from the Arc shopping centre, down Abbeygate Street and to Angel Hill.
This was followed by the official opening by the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Robert Everitt.
The crowds had a first look at the stalls, with food offerings including mulled wine and fudge, and children enjoyed themselves on the fairground rides, which were half-price yesterday.
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A colourful display of fireworks, which began at 7.45pm, brought added sparkle to the festive affair alongside a performance by the Wattisham Military Wives Choir.
The event, which is being held at various locations around the town centre, concludes on Sunday at 5pm.
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Christmas Fayre organiser Sharon Fairweather believed there had been a bigger turnout to the community evening than last year due to the good weather and fireworks.
“There’s a really nice atmosphere,” she said. “There are lots of families and children about and lots of children really enjoying themselves with the parade.
“It isn’t as busy [as the rest of the weekend] for browsing the stalls – and people can come back later in the weekend – and the weather’s lovely.
“It’s a lovely evening to listen to some music and enjoy something to eat.”
She added: “It’s great to see so many local people and local schoolchildren taking part.”