Sidmouth late night shopping success

PUBLISHED: 09:41 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 17 June 2010

DESPITE wet weather and a power cut earlier in the day, shops and businesses rallied around to take part in Sidmouth s late night shopping. More people than ever before flocked to the town on Friday to take part in the festivities. Businesses on Fore Stre

DESPITE wet weather and a power cut earlier in the day, shops and businesses rallied around to take part in Sidmouth's late night shopping.

More people than ever before flocked to the town on Friday to take part in the festivities.

Businesses on Fore Street were affected earlier in the day by a power cut but the issue was resolved and the atmosphere was electric on the night.

Mince pies and mulled wine were aplenty with many shops and businesses giving out festive cheer.

Helen Watts, who organised the event, said: "I was very happy and it all went very well despite the rain.

"I was so impressed with the amount of shops that opened up and there were excellent comments with people saying it is bigger and better each year."

"I would like to thank Sandra Cole, who was there to give me advice and to Sylvia Brownley, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce."

Exeter FM played Christmas music out onto the streets, with power supplied by the Lantern Shop Gallery.

A fire-juggling ensemble managed to perform an impressive display in between the showers which wowed the crowd.

Father Christmas, who arrived by sleigh, handed out bucketfuls of sweets and shoppers were treated to a traditional hog roast courtesy of the Educated Pig.

"Next year we will have to bring three pigs as two wasn't enough for everyone!" added Helen.

Tom Griffiths gave rides to children on the Toastrack and two donkeys from the donkey sanctuary, lulu and Springy, lead by Sue Field and Jan Aherne joined in the festivities by meeting and greeting the shoppers.

Sidmouth Town Band got shoppers in the mood with a spectacular performance in the Market Place, while outside Sidmouth Methodist Church the Salvation Army Band accompanied carol singers from the church.

All Saints Day Care Nursery for under four-year-olds sung their hearts out to the crowds with renditions of traditional carol singing and more music was on offer outside Flo & Us performed by violinist Paul Roberts and his wife, Tia.

Sidmouth brownies and scouts kept shoppers warm by selling roasted chestnuts on Church Street and rangers and guides performed carols, as did Sidmouth Folk Choir.

A big crowd assembled around Potbury's window where Mrs Santa and Father Christmas were displayed, while over 100 people took part in the Herald's pin the nose on the reindeer competition.

Outside Somerfields, Coco Hodgkinson entertained the children with street art and adults and children alike were treated to face painting in the shopping centre.

Plenty of shoppers got bargains outside of Sidmouth College where there were an array of stalls including clocks made from old 78 records and Christmas cards, produced by Sidmouth College's Young Enterprise group. The drum group from the college also played outside the Masonic hall.

Sandra added: "Everyone joined in and had a great time and Sidmouth was full of the Christmas spirit.

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