March comes alive with the sound of music as the annual Christmas Market attracts thousands for a day of festive fun

PUBLISHED: 17:42 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:42 03 December 2018

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

AdGarry Samuels

Live music filled the streets for much of the day, 340 youngsters popped in to have a word with Santa, and many charities reported record takings.

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

It was all part of the annual Christmas Market in March, one of the ‘four season’ events promoted by Fenland District Council.

Councillor Jan French, this year’s mayor but also chairman of the events committee, was grateful to the support offered by the district council.

“A massive thanks to all Fenland Council staff today – you were all brilliant,” she said. “Well done guys and girls. Thank you.”

The reaction on social media to the day was overwhelmingly positive although Cllr French wasn’t impressed with a handful of critics.

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

“Thanks all for all your positive comments,” she posted. “As chairman I will be standing down soon and let all the critics organise it for next year.”

But later she posted: “As the chairman of this event, we try to put on the best possible event for you all to enjoy.

“Sorry some of you are disappointed. Please join my committee and see how you can improve it. Be my guest.”

Cllr French was less pleased that some of her town council colleagues didn’t roll up their sleeves to lend a hand.

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

She said Cllr John Gowing – “normally my rock” – was ill and she wished him a speedy recovery.

And she thanked colleagues’ councillors Mark Purser, her councillor daughter Kim, and Cllr Rob Skoulding for their hard work and support,

But she noted that “seven lazy councillors did not help at all”.

There were numerous positive remarks including the man who came to live in March earlier this year with his family and felt the town “was brought together as a community. The kids had fun and it was a really wonderful thing and I can’t wait until the next event.”

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

And felt it was “a fantastic day, Jan, and well done and I everyone I saw or spoke to were enjoying themselves.”

And one mum noted: “It was a brilliant market with such effort was made.

“People do not understand the work that goes into these events, the teamwork, the planning and preparation.”

She told Cllr French: “People will always moan. You can’t please all tastes and those people wouldn’t know what to do if they weren’t moaning. Great job.”

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

Thousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTERThousands turned out for the March Christmas Market. Massive sums too were raised for various charities. And 340 youngsters visited Santa in his grotto. Picture: IAN CARTER

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