Extra festive stalls are success

Sleaford’s re-energised Christmas market and light switch-on has gone down as a resounding success, say organisers.

The annual festive market had been scaled back in recent years due to shortage of funds and manpower to run it, but this year the team of volunteers and town councillors pulled it together in a matter of eight weeks, producing one of the most memorable events for years.

Countdown to the Christmas light switch-on, with town crier John Griffiths, Mayor Keith Dolby and colouring competition winners. EMN-140212-095446001

Countdown to the Christmas light switch-on, with town crier John Griffiths, Mayor Keith Dolby and colouring competition winners. EMN-140212-095446001

One of the big new attractions which pulled in crowds early was the Santa Fun Run, organised by Dave and Kerry Anne Marshall of Total Sports and Supplements, which saw around 250 runners of all ages from three months to 70 years set off from the Market Place at 10am to run or walk the 3km course around the town. Funds raised will go to St Barnabas Hospice.

First man home was Alan Oliver in 10mins 3 secs, first woman was Katja Eravisto, first boy was Josh Doran, nine, and first girl was Charlotte Bailey, 12.

The market was officially opened by Mayor Keith Dolby and his new town crier John Griffiths.

Crowds browsed the many stalls, craft market and Christmas tree festival.

A packed programme of musical entertainment occupied the milling crowds in the Market Place too while the Sleaford Concert band provided music for the outdoor carols following the popular Christingle service at St Deny’s Church in the afternoon and the lights switch-on finale.

Mayor Coun Keith Dolby said: “Emma Evans, who has been chairing the meetings of organisers, has worked tirelessly and we have already met to start planning next year’s event. If anybody would like to help we would be happy to take their 
details.

“Everyone I spoke to, including the stallholders and dignitaries from other towns, gave favourable comments.”