FESTIVE shoppers braved wind and rain to get into the Christmas spirit in Cockermouth this weekend.

The organisers of the Taste Cumbria Christmas festival were forced to cancel the second day of the event on Sunday, but those who visited on Saturday were treated to stalls packed with food and drink, as well as live music and lots of family fun.

With the Met Office predicting high winds and gusts of up to 50mph the decision was made to call off the second day. much to the organisers’ disappointment.

Anna Chippendale, events manager at Allerdale Borough Council, said: “We were so sad to announce the cancellation of Sunday’s market and entertainment but the safety of our visitors and our traders, as well as the businesses in Cockermouth, was our first priority.

“Thankfully, we managed to have a really good day on Saturday. It was great to see the streets so busy and the feedback we have had is lovely.

“The children’s activities went down really well – especially the addition of some science experiments with the team from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the National Nuclear Laboratory - and the concert by the team from Rosehill Theatre and Rosehill on the Road was just lovely.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who came along on Saturday and to the fabulous businesses all around this lovely town who support us so brilliantly at every event we hold. We can’t wait to come back again next year.”

The festival had a celebrity visitor too. BBC TV antiques expert David Harper took a stroll around town before heading to Jennings Brewery which hosted the Rosehill concert in its Cooperage bar. Marketing manager Sarah Grave taught him to pull a pint before the singing began.

There were happy traders in the producers market on Main Street. Luke Christian from Lakeland Mues, based near Thursby, said: “It’s busier this year and it’s nice to see lots of returning customers, it’s awesome, very friendly.” and well organised. All the stallholders get on well too - I’ve already had a pie from my next door neighbours! I’ll be back in September, all being well.”