Thousands of visitors at ‘best ever’ Stamford Christmas Festival

Photo: SM111211-039ow.jpg'Stamford Christmas Festival. Ryan Ferreira, five, with Father Christmas in the Stamford Lions grotto.
Photo: SM111211-039ow.jpg'Stamford Christmas Festival. Ryan Ferreira, five, with Father Christmas in the Stamford Lions grotto.
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THOUSANDS of people packed the streets of Stamford yesterday (Sunday) for the annual Christmas festival.

About 200 stallholders packed Bath Row, Sheep Market, Red Lion Square and the High Street, while many of the shops opened their doors.

Singers and dancers entertained visitors in a tent on Bath Row and there was also a funfair for the youngsters.

Santa was in his grotto on Sheep Market and there was morris dancers in the High Street, as well as ponies from the Phoenix Children’s Foundation.

Organiser Ali Hawley-Smith, who coordinated the event on behalf of Stamford Town Partnership and Stamford Town Council, said it was the best ever festival.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic and there were thousands of people there consistently throughout the day.” The market had been due to finish at 4pm but shoppers disappeared at 3pm because of heavy rain.

The Grinch was also performed at Stamford Corn Exchange at 4pm.

In the morning, the Rotary Club of Stamford Burghley held its annual Santa fun run at Burghley Park in Stamford.

More than 500 participants dressed as Santa took part to raise money for a host of charities.