Hailsham prepares for festive Dickensian market

THE FESTIVE season is fast approaching and people in Hailsham are gearing up for what is expected to be a busy and fun-filled Christmas market this weekend.

Getting underway at 3pm on Saturday, this year the event has a Dickensian theme, with the town transformed into a yuletide market.

The High Street will be full of stalls selling a wide range of local and regional fine food, Christmas gifts, decorations, cards, cakes, jewellery and other items. There will also be a mouth-watering hog roast, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine to warm the cockles of revellers and shoppers alike.

And the event also boasts carol singing from Hailsham Choral Society and White House Primary School Choir, entertainment from St Mary’s Church Bell Ringers, and a special musical performance from the Wealden Brass Band.

Father Christmas will, once again, be setting up his Grotto in the High Street on the day for the children and prizes will be given for the best Dickensian fancy dressed adult and child, best Dickensian stall, and for the winners of the Find-A-Reindeer game.

Town mayor Councillor Jeff Bentley-Astor said, “Our Christmas Market programme includes a wide range of activities which we hope will enthuse residents and visitors alike and help support local businesses during the festive period.”

And Councillor Dawn Ryan, head of community events on the local authority, added, “This year’s Christmas Market will have something for everyone and will give people an opportunity to experience the hustle-bustle and enjoyment festive events in Hailsham are renowned for.

“I am confident that people visiting the market stalls will absorb the traditional festive atmosphere and would encourage as many people as possible to come along and take advantage of what the market has to offer.”

The High Street will be closed to all traffic from 5am to late on Saturday and residents are asked not to park in the High Street on the night before and use the nearby car parks where possible.

A number of shops on the High Street will be open for business while the Christmas Market takes place.

Copies of the Dickensian Yuletide Market programme, which includes a schedule of entertainment on the day, are available free of charge from the Town Council offices in Market Street. Or, for further information on this and other Christmas events organised by Hailsham Town Council, either call 01323 841702 (during office hours) or log on to www.hailsham-tc.gov.uk.