Jubilee theme for Christmas festival event

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IT may only be August but preparations are well under way for the annual Stamford Christmas Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the festival will take over Stamford town centre on Sunday, December 9.

This year’s event will have a jubilee theme, with organiser Stamford Town Council hoping the patriotism generated over the summer will carry on into the festive season.

Last year about 20,000 people visited the festival, which saw 200 traders set up stalls in High Street, Red Lion Square, Sheep Market, Castle Dyke, Bath Row East, Gooch’s Court and Bath Row West.

The same streets will be used for this year’s festival and organisers are hopeful of another good turnout.

Project manager Ali Hawley-Smith said: “We changed the location to suit the retailers in the town last year and it worked out incredibly well.

“We are going to build on that success this year. We have got a number of traders booked up to join us.

“We have the capacity for 200 stalls with the space we have and we will have three main areas of entertainment. There will be bands, performances from local arts groups, a Santa’s grotto and a funfair.

“We also want to keep the jubilee theme going right to the end of the year. There will be quizzes, competitions, vintage cars and costumes.”

Last year’s event was organised in part by the Stamford Town Partnership. But the group is winding down its activities so Stamford Town Council has taken full responsibility.

The town council has approached Lincolnshire County Council for funding as it has previously supported the town partnership’s summer feast.

But there will be no support from South Kesteven District Council, which withdrew its funding last year.

Ali added: “We haven’t approached the district council. We know they are trying to cut their budget. We knew there was no funding available and we accept that.”

Volunteers are needed to help with the festival on the day. If you are interested in taking part as a volunteer or as a stall holder, e-mail info@alishouseofstring.co.uk or go to www.visitstamford.com/xmas