Rye is pinning its hopes on a Christmas Market this Saturday to continue celebrations that got off to a slow start.
This year’s Christmas Festival came under fire from visitors and some councillors when it got underway on Saturday December 6.
But things picked up on Saturday when Father Christmas arrived by boat at Strand Quay to open his Grotto in East Street.
Local trader Derick Holman said: “With much waving and hooting of horns Santa arrived at the quay courtesy of the Harbour Master’s launch to be greeted by large crowds, a ukulele band, food stalls and side shows.
“Large crowds of adults and children were delighted to be part of the ongoing festivities organised by the Rye and District Chamber of Commerce.
“Expectations now move to the 20th when the Chamber have arranged for free parking in the town, street entertainment and a market at Stand Quay.
“Neil Cunliffe of the Chamber has invited those who live and work in the town to get involved in the celebrations and wishes everyone in Rye a wonderful time.”
Wout Kalis, from Rye, said: “It was a very good turn out to watch Santa’s arrival by boat at the Strand in Rye with lots of happy and excited children.
“How very disappointing that Rye or Rother could not have spent a bit of effort on organising a Christmas Tree.
“ If expense was the problem then leave out the lights, just a nice tree would have been an attempt to look like Christmas.
“Maybe we should help and start collecting for a tree sometime in August 2015.”
Rye Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore, said: “I feel intensely sorry for the one or two people who have worked really hard to do something good.
“Neil Cunliffe, from the Chamber, worked tirelessly on the day but lacked support,
“It was left too late to organise again. Christmas happens at the same time each year and we need to do better as a town.