Dickensian market draws record crowds

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Crowds turned up in record numbers to this year’s Dickensian Christmas Market and Craft Fayre.

Organisers Wetherby Lions said huge numbers turned out to last Sunday’s event to enjoy the festive attractions and vast array of produce and crafts on sale.

“We work hard to make the Dickensian Market the one event that really brings Wetherby people of all ages together in the most festive setting,“ said Wetherby Lions President, John Boulton.

“This year’s event did not disappoint, and to see such record numbers proves what a great community we have, and how well they support local causes.”

The event was officially opened by ITV Calendar presenter, Duncan Wood, who congratulated the organisers for arranging such a perfect day.

Wetherby Town Mayor Coun Galan Moss praised Wetherby people for supporting the event so enthusiastically.

Santa arrived after the short speeches to the delight of the long queues of families and their children who had formed outside his seasonally decorated grotto.

Another major attraction were Casper and Rollo, the two Alpacas from Elmet Alpacas in Sherburn.

Throughout the day festive music was provided by Wetherby Silver Band, Collingham Wind Band, Wetherby Musical Theatre Group Choir and Deighton Gates School Choir and there was a dance routine by Stagecoach.

The market square was packed with local food and drink traders, including from the Farmers’ Market, and they reported brisk trade as did the Craft event in the Town Hall.

“It was certainly busier than last year, and people stayed longer and seemed to find some really great gifts,” said craft stall holder, Dianne Pawson.

The many local charities stalls also had a successful day.

“We took far more than we anticipated, and it was a really great event to take part in,” said Carol Keenlyside, a Wetherby volunteer from the Children’s Society.

A Young Enterprise Group from Wetherby High School also impressed with a range of candle gifts on their stall.

Wetherby Lions presented their annual Wetherby Townsperson of the Year Award at the Market.

This year’s recipient, voted by Wetheby residents for his contribution to the community, is Alan Drinkhall MBE.