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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Keswick's annual Victorian Christmas Fayre proves big hit

Father Christmas, real reindeer and carol singing helped thousands of people in Keswick get into the festive spirit.

Keswick Victorian fayre photo
Hospice at Home stall with Chris White, Isabelle Bowe, Jane Walker and Audrey Askew

It was all part of the 24th annual Victorian Christmas Fayre that was held in the town yesterday that saw thousands of people attend on a dry, sunny but cold day.

In addition there was also performances from the Belfagan Women’s Morris, the 60 strong Committed 2 Rock choir, Keswick Street Theatre, Cockermouth Mechanics Band and the Keswick Community Choir.

Free parking was provided all day by Allerdale Council and there was no less than 30 charity stalls displaying various Christmas gifts.

Mike Ryder, one of the organisers, said: “We have been delighted with the excellent turnout of people.

“To see nearly 30 stalls from charity organisations raising money is really good.

“There is such a mix selling crafts, home made chutney, wine and mince pies.”

One of the biggest draws were the reindeers, from the Cairngorms, which made their way from the rugby club through to the town to the bottom of the Main Street where they pulled a sleigh with Father Christmas on.

Santa then met plenty of children while people were able to watch the reindeer.

Mr Ryder added: “The reindeer were very popular and we had people lining the route all the way from the rugby club.

“It was great to see the excitement and expressions on the kids faces and really makes everything worthwhile.

“After we had them for the first time last year we had to get them back.”

Brian Carr, 40, of Mealsgate, near Wigton, came with his three children Bethany, nine, Sophie, six and Max, four.

He said: “We come every year and it has been a good day.

“The children spent a good 20 minutes watching the reindeer.”

Mr Ryder believed the dry weather was a big attraction for people to attend as well as the variety of acts on the stage.

Next year's event will take place on December 1 and a special celebration event is planned as it will be the fayre’s 25th year.

Mr Ryder is hoping that it can expand, but said a major fundraising effort would be needed.

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