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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Barrow Christmas markets

THOUSANDS of people flocked to a weekend of festive fun marking the return of Barrow’s Christmas markets.

Blue skies and crisp winter air set the mood for the event, which is now in its second year. Mayor Councillor Wendy
Maddox officially opened the event.

Fun fair rides, an ice skating rink and a range of wooden cabins, selling everything from home gifts to vodka shots, brought in the crowds who revelled in the Yuletide cheer, served up by the Evening Mail.

The two-day event drew thousands of shoppers into the town centre to sample some of South Cumbria’s best food, drink and Christmas entertainment.

Opening the event, Cllr Maddox said: “It’s a bit of a cold day but the sun is shining.

“I hope everybody has a good spend!”

Cllr Maddox, wearing her new ceremonial robes, designed by Lily Myers, added later: “There are plenty of people about. The event has brought people into town.”

Walney musical theatre group KS Musicals gave their first public performance, singing a range of Christmas carols and festive favourites. Among those watching was Russell Brown, of Dalton, watching daughters Daisy and Poppy.

He said: “This is much better than last year, it’s really good. It gets everybody in the right spirit.”

As the sound of Christmas carols filled the air, excited children waited for their chance to speak to Father Christmas himself.

Dawn Chapman and Shawn Rayney were with their five-year-old daughter, Faith Rayney, who was one of the first to meet Father Christmas at this year’s market.

Mr Rayney said: “I couldn’t come last year because I was working. We came down to have a look around, Faith is excited about Christmas. I’m quite impressed with it all. It’s getting into the spirit.”

The event drew in visitors from across South Cumbria. Christine Carney travelled to the event from Millom with her friend Pauline Altree.

Mrs Carney said: “It’s nice to see something that keeps people in Barrow. A lot of people go out of town because they’re looking for something like this.

“It’s great because this will help other shops in town too and we’ve certainly got the weather for it.”

Mrs Altree added: “This is much better than we expected.”

Sarah Potter, of Norfolk Street, Barrow, was with her three-year-old nephew Cohan Webber, who was enjoying the ice rink, sponsored by Poole Townsend.

She said: “I brought Cohan down to have a little look around.

“It’s lovely, it’s really nice to see something like this going on in Barrow.”

A fun fair provided thrills and spills for all the family with tea cups, roundabouts and other rides.

David Turner and his wife Christine, of Hertford Street, in Barrow, were with their children, Logan and Conall.

Mrs Turner said: “It’s busy. It’s good to see an event that brings people out – it makes it feel a bit more Christmassy.”

Frank Stretton, commercial director of the Evening Mail, said: “I’m delighted to have seen so many people at the market.

“We’re committed to community events in Barrow and South Cumbria. I’d like to thank the mayor, Cllr Maddox, and all of our sponsors for the event. There really was something for all the family.

“Hopefully we’ll see even more people at next weekend’s event.”

Barrow Christmas Markets return next weekend, complete with a Santa parade and a 60ft high ferris wheel.

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