West Somerset embraces Christmas fever

Somerset County Gazette: Isobel Harris, seven, and Jackson Harris, four, meet Santa on his sleigh in Minehead. PHOTO: Steve Guscott. Isobel Harris, seven, and Jackson Harris, four, meet Santa on his sleigh in Minehead. PHOTO: Steve Guscott.

THE festive spirit has been in full swing across West Somerset as the area said goodbye to November and greeted December in style.

Minehead’s Christmas Evening on Friday (November 30) drew hundreds of people, who enjoyed street entertainment, a host of activities for children, live music and the official lights switch-on.

Visitor Information Centre manager Jill Homewood said: “I think it was the busiest it has ever been and we had things going on further down the road than before, which we hope more businesses benefited from.

"Children really enjoyed both the traditional nativity scene, including live sheep, at the farmers’ market and the Minehead and District Lions Club Father Christmas sleigh.”

Shoppers were treated to an evening of entertainment during Porlock’s late-night shopping event organised by traders in the village on Saturday.

Open mic performers and a brass band provided the soundtrack, and stilt walkers and Santa entertained the youngsters.

Keith Green, one of the organisers, said: “The atmosphere was really nice. Numbers were possibly down on previous years but the people who were there thoroughly enjoyed themselves and a great evening was had by all.”

Thousands of white lights adorning almost 100 Christmas trees set the seasonal scene for Dulverton by Starlight on Sunday before a spectacular fireworks display delighted onlookers.

Horse and dray rides, Father Christmas, a church bazaar and folk singing entertained people hunting for the perfect Christmas gifts as businesses extended their opening hours.

Co-ordinator Ivan Gunn said: “It went extremely well, we had massive crowds. The firework display was by far the best we have ever had, thanks to an anonymous £500 donation to add to our funds.”

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