Stepping back in time for Victorian festival

Dickensian Christmas Festival, Grassington
Dickensian Christmas Festival, Grassington
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Fylde traders will be stepping back in time next month in a bid to boost festive season business.

St Annes’ first Victorian festival weekend has been confirmed for the weekend of December 5 and 6 – and a wide variety of vintage delights are promised.

A meeting to finalise arrangements is scheduled for next week but already organisers are planning features ranging from craft stalls and chestnut sellers to circus acts, children’s rides and poetry readings.

More than 20 traders have pledged to take part and organisers’ spokesman Heather Cross, said: “We are really excited about it.”

The event has been inspired by the Dickensian Festival in Grassington, North Yorkshire, which has been attracting shoppers for more then 30 years and the aim is to keep the momentum going in terms of attracting festive shoppers, a week after the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.

The Festival is set to take place throughout the weekend’s trading hours and a number of businesses, including Heather’s Vanilla coffee shop in Park Road, plan to open specially on the Sunday to be involved.

“A lot of people have expressed an interest in taking part and it should be a brilliant atmosphere all over town,” added Heather.

St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said: “It is a good idea.

“It will add plenty of festive colour and character to shops and forecourts and is the kind of thing which can hopefully grow in future years.”

The Christmas lights switch-on in St Annes, organised by the Town Council, will take place on Saturday, November 28 at 5.15pm, with Carnival queen Hannah Jeffrey pulling the switch following a programme of entertainment, beginning at 3.30pm and featuring among others the cast of the Lowther Pavilion panto Cinderella.

Lytham’s festive lights switch-on, details of which are yet to be released, is set for the previous week, Saturday, November 21.