STRATFORD’S inaugural Victorian Christmas Market last weekend saw a 90 per cent increase in footfall in the town despite the final day being cancelled due to the weather.
The percentage increase is based on the equivalent Saturday last year when there wasn’t a Victorian market in town and also shows a 64 per cent rise in visitor numbers according to Stratforward BID Ltd.
Stratford’s super Saturday saw thousands of people flock to the town for the Victorian market following its official opening the day before but predicted snow and bad weather overnight Saturday forced organisers, Stratford Town and Stratford District Councils, together with market operator, LSD Promotions to cancel Sunday’s market to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of market traders and visitors.
Judging by the sheer volume of numbers in Stratford on Saturday the right decision was taken as the overnight snow which continued throughout Sunday would have made it impossible to sustain a safe and enjoyable event in those conditions. While the cancellation will have disappointed many, Stratford District Council says it is hopeful of staging a second Victorian market next year.
In keeping with the Victorian theme, Friday saw the market opened by Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert amid cheers from a crowd dressed in Victorian costume.
The role of Queen Victoria was delivered with a convincing flourish of regal flair by Stratford’s Mayor Cllr Victoria Alcock accompanied by chairman of Stratford District Council George Atkinson who together cut a large red ribbon to announce the Victorian festive fun in the town centre had begun.
Councillor George Atkinson Chair of the District Council said: “Both Councils and LSD Promotions, the joint event organisers are delighted with the extremely positive response to the Victorian Christmas Market from the vast amount of visitors to the town during the festival and from the market traders. Many have cited the event as better than other established Christmas Markets across the country including Birmingham. The Christmas lights certainly did sparkle and a warm welcome was extended to all who attended.”
Full story plus Christmas Market photo special in this week’s Herald.