‘By 7.30am the first gazebo went flying ....others followed’ but remarkably the wind subsided and March was treated to a hugely successful Christmas market
- Credit: Archant
By 7.30am the first gazebo went flying across the Market Place – one or two others quickly followed. The omens for March Christmas Market – with blustery conditions and high winds sweeping through the town- looked less than promising.
Some stall holders out of the 100 or so that had booked space clearly felt the chill too, opting to stay away.
But, remarkably, the wind subsidised, there were no more gazebo casualties, and the people of March were treated to an extraordinary and hugely successful Christmas market.
Thousands piled into the centre and enjoyed a near carnival atmosphere as event upon event merged into a spectacular occasion.
From the Santa Run starting and ending at Georges (yes, it did happen and yes, all safety aspects were covered) to a rich performance of music throughout the day in the Market Place it was a truly festive occasion.
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Over 150 children queued at various times to spend time with Santa and when they weren’t putting their wish lists to him they were out and about enjoying the nearby free fairground rides.
Stalls offered up tombola prizes – that included a massive wheelbarrow of wine and a superb home made Minion cake- to Cambridgeshire gin, locally produced bread, and every conceivable pickle creation under the sun.
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The mayor, Councillor Rob Skoulding, was among the early arrivals (that’s 6.30am) to work with fellow town councillors and a busy committee, as well as a host of stewards from Fenland Council, to get the town ready.
Cllr Skoulding, by now in ceremonial robes, was centre stage at 10am to open proceedings before dashing down the road to Georges to begin the Santa Run.
March Churches Together was among those performing on stage, offering market goers a seasonal clutch of festive music.
“It was a truly fantastic day,” said Councillor Jan French, one of the organisers.
Another of those who had worked hard with the committee to make the day such a success was Lisa Moore.
She was in ebullient form reflecting at the end “we need to start organising for next year’s St George’s Fair now”.
First though comes Christmas and on Friday the town will be out in force for Friday’s civic carol service in St Peter’s (open to all, and a bumper crop of carols to enjoy) that forms part of the annual three day festival of Christmas trees at the church.
Cllr Skoulding said: “What a wonderful day and impossible to stage without many volunteers who give up an enormous amount of time and put in massive effort to make it happen. My thanks to them all.”