Lanterns light up East Preston festive bonanza

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THERE was all the fun of the fair and much, much more, when East Preston put out the welcome mat for Christmas on Saturday (November 22).

The village’s Christmas celebration marked the 120th anniversary of the parish council, but was such a success it will be back in 2015.

Mez Chalkley with a mini Christmas tree        D14481217a

Mez Chalkley with a mini Christmas tree D14481217a

Much of Sea Road was closed between the northern and southern shopping areas, with many traders hosting arts and craft displays and gift stalls, or having food and drink tastings, and more festive delights on sale at a fair in the village hall.

The funfair, with a chair-o-plane as its centrepiece, was a big attraction, but the highlight was a lantern procession from the northern shops down to the village green, for the Christmas tree lights switch-on.

During the day, lantern-making workshops were held at the Sea Horse Café and Prestons restaurant and children later returned there to collect their creations and join the parade, a magical, colourful sight.

Diabetes awareness group dizzy held a clothes exchange ‘swish’ and fashion show at the Conservative Hall, there was a ‘hunt the elf’ trail in shop windows for children to seek out and music was provided by the TLA Steelband, Celebration Samba and Angmering Voices choir.

Thirsts could be quenched at a winter beer festival at the Clockhouse bar.

The parish council joined forces with the East Preston Business Community group and other village organisations and individuals to run the event.

Council clerk Simon Cross said: “Although the beginning of the day was marred by rainfall, everyone involved in the organisation could not have been happier at the number of people out and about in the afternoon and the overwhelmingly positive feedback already received.

“We would like to thank everyone who came along, got involved and enjoyed themselves, and all the performers, businesses and charities which took part and made the day so memorable for so many East Preston residents and visitors.

“Please take this as an open invitation to come back next year. This was a real village event the whole village can be proud of.”