Rye lights up for Christmas

The Oliver Curd Trust in procession
The Oliver Curd Trust in procession

People came from far and wide in their thousands to enjoy a full day of Christmas festivities in Rye on Saturday (December 12).

The town was full of laughter, fun and frivolities with families enjoying much-needed quality time with a wealth of free activities alongside the small fun fair rides, rodeo reindeer and the skating rink.

Scrooge on stilts

Scrooge on stilts

There was a small Christmas market on the Strand Quay providing a back drop for Santa’s arrival on board the harbour masters boat, and the live reindeer provided by The Reindeer Centre in Bethersden drew a great crowd.

Jenny Sinclair, one of the main organisers of Saturday’s festivities, said: “Local stars The Cheeky Girls proved popular as they took to the stage to perform for the crowds, among a host of other choirs and dance schools keeping the crowd entertained throughout the day.

“Present traditions were kept, like the grotto at Castle Museum, past ones were reinstated like the Christmas Pudding Race and future ones were set, in the form of a Mother Christmas feature and projected light units in some of the shops through the town.

“The event concluded with a wonderful heart-warming carol concert at St Mary’s Church, with a programme of carols which were supported by various choirs and music groups including The Salvation Army and the Wall of Sound.”

The Christmas Dragon

The Christmas Dragon

She added the hotels and guest houses were booked out and the shops were full of people all day long.

Jenny said: “In the face of adversity with a zero budget, the committee pulled off a corker of an event. It met the simple objectives set at the beginning of the year; to create a free community Christmas event, to improve on previous years and bring back some of the magic from years gone by while hoping to also bring visitors to the town.

“The feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The committee, made up of local people, struggled to get volunteers to help with the marshalling and actions on the day but those who did come forward were fantastic and worked so hard.

“The committee is keen to form an action group to support its work this year. If you think this could be for you or if you have any feedback on the event please email feedback@christmasinrye.co.uk or contact Liz Pendennis on 01797 229916.”

Dancers on stage

Dancers on stage

Pictures taken by Debbie Sanderson Photography and Hayley Fordham Photography.

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