A FLAVOUR of Christmas past led to much more modern celebrations, as Epworth launched its festive season in lights.
Crowds of families gathered for the grand switch-on of the town’s colourful Christmas lights on Friday, and special visitor Santa received a very warm reception at Market Place, despite the wintry evening chill.
A Victorian Christmas market held throughout the day saw stalls at the Imperial Hall groaning with home-made preserves, sweets, cakes, books and hand-made gifts, with refreshments served by ladies in shawls and lace mop-caps, and gents in bowler hats.
The cake stall alone was a fantastic effort and raised a massive £1,500.
Chairman of St Andrew’s Church Restoration committee, Melvyn Rose, was thrilled to announce that the market made £3,850 in total this year.
He said: “There was an excellent turnout, in fact we had people queuing at the doors before we opened. There was folk music from Peter Barnard to jolly things up, and both the raffle hampers and the tombola did very well. We’d like to thank both the volunteers and supporters for their hard work and contributions.”
The renovation project at St Andrew’s Church is progressing well, he added, and is on target to have the church back in use for Easter.
Meanwhile there was a real build-up of excitement for the lights switch-on, that was performed by four lucky young ladies from the town.
Santa dealt with a stream of youngsters and requests, and people made the most of the fun atmosphere and late openings to wander up and down the beautifully-lit streets.
A great deal of work over some time by the Christmas lights committee raised the cash to finance the light displays.
This included a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro by chairman Martin Whitaker, who completed his trek just weeks before Christmas to aid the appeal.