Christmas markets in Stamford, Bourne and Deepings

Stamford Christmas Market and lights switch-on EMN-141130-185846009
Stamford Christmas Market and lights switch-on EMN-141130-185846009
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Thousands of people began the festive season at Christmas markets and events around the area this weekend.

Stamford Christmas Festival took place in the town centre on Sunday. Independent traders set up stalls selling high quality gifts and food, giving visitors a great opportunity to start their Christmas shopping.

There was a packed programme of entertainment including shows for children, school choirs and dance troupes. Youngsters could meet Santa in his grotto. And the town’s Christmas lights were turned on by mayor Clem Walden and youngster Lucy Evans in a special early evening ceremony.

The market was organised by Stamford Town Council’s events committee. Coun Maxine Couch (Independent), who chairs the committee, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. It was really busy. I think it must have been the busiest we have ever had.

“The square was packed when Santa arrived. We couldn’t actually drive the sleigh next to the stage because of the amount of people.

“It was an amazing day.”

Coun Couch said stall holders had given great feedback so far. “We are really pleased,” she added.

“It all ran really smoothly. Everyone was happy.

“We had three live reindeer so that was a great attraction. The children loved that.”

Bourne’s annual Christmas extravaganza took place all day on Saturday. For the first time the event included a European food and craft fair, with traders from across the continent selling their wares in the street.

There was live music from bands and carol singers, and entertainment throughout the town centre. Special guest Jade Etherington, who won three medals at this year’s Winter Paralympics, lead the countdown to turn on the Christmas lights.

Mayor of Bourne Bob Russell said the event was “fabulous”.

“North Street was full as far as the eye could see,” he added. “Was was an absolutely splendid sight. 
“There seemed to be a lot of people around from the early afternoon. I took a walk around the market and it was exceedingly busy.

“The traders’ committee did a wonderful job.”

Coun Russell joined Jade and Father Christmas on stage for the countdown. He said: “I think there is no question Jade boosted the turnout.”

Mayor of Market Deeping Roy Stephenson said he had “never seen so many people” in Market Place as he did during Sunday’s Christmas Market.

The star attraction was undoubtedly Princesses Elsa and Anna from Disney’s Frozen. Hundreds of children queued up with their parents to meet the characters, who also helped turn on the illuminations.

Coun Stepehenson said: “It was fantastic. It couldn’t have been better.”

He added: “The princesses were brilliant. They were a huge draw.”

The mayor’s stall raised almost £450 for his two charities, Dementia Support South Lincs and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. And businesses also felt the benefit of extra custom all day.