After a very wet and snowy November and early December, organisers of the Christmas Festival were delighted that the weather started to improve in advance of the main festival day of Saturday 11 December.
Throughout the day there was street entertainment in the town. A Charity Fayre was run in St Mary’s Church with further stalls established in the afternoon in the High Street.
At 5.00pm, Santa in his reindeer-led sleigh was the highlight of the Procession which took the traditional route from the station, up through Cinque Ports Street, Landgate, Hilders Cliff, the High Street and down The Mint to Strand Quay.
The Procession was amazing, led by Rex, the Town Cryer, followed by Santa in his sleigh. Following Santa was the now established but ever brilliant Lantern Displays, built and carried by children from several local schools. Interspersed in the Procession was the Pipes & Drums band, Blocco from Rye College, and Section Five.
The Procession attracts a variety of extras, and this year was no exception, with any number of people who just wanted to get involved.
The Procession disbanded at Strand Quay, but Santa took his time mingling in the crowd. The reindeer were put a pen on Strand Quay and were a huge attraction throughout the evening.
The evening market was launched at Strand Quay which was a huge success and should become a regular feature in the future.
The Christmas Festival is something that Rye does very well, but this year it was exceptional. Well done to Roger Crouch, our Festival Organiser, and we already look forward to what Roger has planned for us next year.
Thank you too to all the businesses and residents of Rye who contributed time and money to make this year’s festival so memorable.