Guild’s efforts pay off with successful Christmas Fayre

Crowds enjoying the lights and fayre (photo via Reigate Business Guild)

 

Hard work and team effort by volunteers at Reigate Business Guild meant the annual Christmas Fayre was a big crowd-puller at the start of the festive season.

As in previous years, Church Street was closed to traffic for the day, allowing crowds to enjoy local traders’ stalls, including familiar names such as Reigate Manor, Chalk Hills Bakery, Willows, Crumbs Brewing, and All About Eve.

Food and drink included mulled wine, hog roasts, and fish & chips.

Music helped create a seasonal atmosphere, with performances from the Reigate School of Ballet, Reigate Priory School, Reigate College, Reigate Grammar School, The Charisma Girls, 4 Chicks and Dunottar School.

A traditional Punch & Judy show, and donkey rides (sponsored by Gerrards) to see Father Christmas in Tunnel Road, meant everyone got into the festive spirit.

In the finale to the event, on Saturday 30 November, former Strictly Come Dancing stars Ola and James Jordan (appearing in the Harlequin’s annual pantomime) switched on the Christmas lights, assisted by the Mayor of Reigate & Banstead, Cllr Keith Foreman.

The lights are organised by Reigate Business Guild’s volunteers, with the Fayre being one of many fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Caroline Clarke, who leads the Christmas Fayre committee, said: “This year’s Fayre was fabulous thanks to the great team that work behind the scenes for months to make it a great community event.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that supported the fayre this year to make it a day to remember.”

Jes Chandler, chair of Reigate Business Guild, said: “What a fantastic day and effort by everyone, the tombola raised over £2,800 on the day and this is all thanks to the generosity of the local businesses in the town.

“There were thousands of happy faces on the streets, some fantastic entertainment on the stage and the most diverse offering from the stallholders ever.

“The best Fayre to date, a really dedicated and hardworking team, most of whom started at 6am and finished at 7.30pm”.

As well as the Fayre, in the morning Redhill & Reigate Round Table once again arranged for Santa to arrive by helicopter in Priory Park.  The Round Tablers said that together with Santa’s visit to the Tunnel Road grotto, the day raised nearly £4,000 for the good causes that they support.

And in the evening the return of Reigate on Ice, after a break in 2018, meant crowds were able to enjoy their free firework display in the park.  The ice rink ran until Saturday 4 January.

 

Reigate Business Guild volunteers were up early on Saturday morning (photo via Reigate Business Guild)
Looking down on Church Street (photo: reigate.uk)
A view up Church Street shortly after the switch-on (photo: reigate.uk)