BRIGHOUSE town centre was turned into a winter wonderland when thousands of visitors started their Christmas shopping in style.
A record number of people flocked to the town’s third street market, making it the most successful Totally Locally event of the year.
Sixty-five stalls, a record number, sold a wide variety of gifts, crafts, food, clothing and accessories and school choirs and bands kept the crowds entertained with music and festive songs.
Lesley Adams, chairman of Brighouse Business Initiative, said she was amazed and thrilled by the response.
“I think it was about as busy as it could be,” she said. “The streets were packed from early morning until after the lights were switched on. There was a real buzz in Brighouse and a fantastic community atmosphere. The reindeer were a real attraction and we have already booked them again for next year.”
Brighouse gallery owner Steven Lord said: “As a member of the Brighouse Business Initiative committee, I feel very proud of what we achieved.
“We created a hugely successful event which truly brought the magic of Christmas to Brighouse.”
Mr Lord said that due to council cutbacks, the lights switch-on could have been a non-event. Instead he felt it was the best so far.
‘This is the sort of event you’d normally have to travel to Leeds or Manchester to see, I can’t believe it’s in Brighouse!’ When other local towns are struggling, we put Brighouse firmly on the map.”
Despite strong winds and rain in the afternoon, visitors lingered in the town centre to look at the stalls, sample the wide range of foods served up and wait for the arrival of Father Christmas on his sleigh, pulled by two reindeer.
David and Doreen Bycroft, of Hove Edge said: “We think the market is brilliant. There seems to be a lot more stalls and the town is a lot busier than usual.
“We have been to the other markets and they have all been excellent. I think they should be held more regularly.”
Peter Sleigh from Rastrick came to the market with his family and said the event was terrific.
“It’s good to see more traders involved which helps the town,” he said. “It gets bigger each year which is great.”
Chris Bowen from Halifax said: “This is the first market we have been to and we haven’t seen Brighouse this busy before. From what we have seen so far it all looks good.”
Lesley Adams said planning would begin soon on the next street market.
“We are delighted with the way Brighouse turned out to support the event and I know that two town centre stores reported their busiest Saturday ever.
“There was lots for families and children to enjoy and that was part of the market’s success.”
Traditional hog roasts, Mongolian stir fry and exotic Asian cuisine was served up to hungry visitors.
For more pictures from the event see Brighouse Echo 1-12-11