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PICTURES: Inaugural Festive Long Melford event showcases all that village has to offer




Long Melford was filled with festive cheer at the weekend, as large numbers of visitors flocked in for a Christmas-themed showcase of all the village has to offer.

The first Festive Long Melford, organised by the parish council and business association, packed the streets with festive entertainment on Saturday, while shops affixed giant red bows to their doors.

The occasion featured a Santa’s grotto, real-life reindeer, the Green Dragon Morris Dancers, the Long Melford and Boxted Silver Bands, the Long Melford Pop Chorus, the Edwardian Ladies, traction engines and a Punch and Judy show.

Festive Long Melford - Isabelle Danes, 6, vists Father Christmas..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366401)
Festive Long Melford - Isabelle Danes, 6, vists Father Christmas..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366401)

It concluded with carols on Little Green, led by vicar Matthew Lawson, followed by the switch-on of the Christmas tree lights.

Jess Brown, who chairs the Long Melford Business Association, told the Free Press the event had been very successful in its goal of drawing more shoppers in.

“A couple of businesses said they had record days,” she said. “Footfall was definitely up for the day, compared to an average Saturday.

Festive Long Melford - Rebekka Rimmer, Freddie Hogsbjerg and Bethany Rimmer enjoy the fake snow..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366418)
Festive Long Melford - Rebekka Rimmer, Freddie Hogsbjerg and Bethany Rimmer enjoy the fake snow..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366418)

“We are a quintessential village, and anything we can do to enhance the village will help bring people in.”

The village primary school and library both held Christmas fairs on the day.

Parish councillor Jonathan Ewbank, who thanked the volunteers who helped on the day, said: “We were pleased large numbers came along and the rain mainly held off.

Festive Long Melford - Chief Elf, Graham Eade..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366406)
Festive Long Melford - Chief Elf, Graham Eade..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366406)

“We wanted the event to showcase our fantastic mix of shops, pubs and restaurants, while bringing in entertainment to complement what the village has to offer.

“It was great the fire station was open for the day and that proved to be a real attraction, as was Santa’s grotto. That proved a real magnet for parents and children.”

Festive Long Melford - Caroline Dunn at the Woolpatch..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366408)
Festive Long Melford - Caroline Dunn at the Woolpatch..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366408)
Festive Long Melford - Reindeer graze on straw and carrots..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366409)
Festive Long Melford - Reindeer graze on straw and carrots..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366409)
Festive Long Melford - Fake snow falls on Long Melford..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366417)
Festive Long Melford - Fake snow falls on Long Melford..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366417)
Festive Long Melford - Caroline Dunn at the Woolpatch..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366408)
Festive Long Melford - Caroline Dunn at the Woolpatch..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366408)
Festive Long Melford - A steam engine makes it's way through the village..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366405)
Festive Long Melford - A steam engine makes it's way through the village..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366405)
Festive Long Melford - Reindeer graze on straw and carrots..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366410)
Festive Long Melford - Reindeer graze on straw and carrots..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366410)
Festive Long Melford - The Christmas tree is switched on.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366510)
Festive Long Melford - The Christmas tree is switched on.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366510)
Festive Long Melford - Local residents sing carols around the tree.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366506)
Festive Long Melford - Local residents sing carols around the tree.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366506)
Festive Long Melford - Long Melford Silver band perform.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366505)
Festive Long Melford - Long Melford Silver band perform.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366505)
Festive Long Melford - Traction engines on display.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366419)
Festive Long Melford - Traction engines on display.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366419)
Festive Long Melford - The Christmas tree is switched on.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366511)
Festive Long Melford - The Christmas tree is switched on.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (22366511)

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