Working alongside Market Days CIC, the town saw the biggest Christmas event Newport has ever seen with local shops reporting record takings.
With a bumper market in St Thomas’s Square offering a wide range of handmade gifts and even locally produced fruit and vegetables, shoppers were entertained by Vectis Brass and a living Father Christmas statue.
Claire Kennard from Market Days CIC said:
“We have been running markets in Newport over the summer and they have been gradually growing, but this was by far the largest one yet! We really loved hearing from people that they want a regular market in Newport and how supportive they are of local traders and makers. We have a few markets planned up until the 18th of December and then we will be returning in February 2022.”
Father Christmas asked an elf to make a quick dash to the North Pole to collect more presents from the North Pole as over 400 children visited him in his grotto inside Newport Minster. A variety of performances inside the Minster as people waited to see him including Sandown & Shanklin Military Band, Harmonix and the Combined Schools Choir (Newport CofE and Carisbrooke Primary Schools) who all played to packed audiences.
The Newport & Carisbrooke Women’s Institute yarnbombed the town in the morning and shoppers had fun seeing how many they could spot.
In St James’s Square, police officers, paramedics and firefighter joined in the festivities and children enjoyed exploring the emergency vehicles whilst crews spoke to people about community safety. The stage in the Square was full all day with a variety of singers, musicians and acts including the Grinch who interrupted Huxley as he performed his magic show.
Donkeys ‘Harvey’ and ‘Sooty’ from The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary were in attendance with one of the most touching moments of the day being the fantastic choir from Barton Primary School singing Little Donkey alongside them.
On the Quay, Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council (NCCC) provided a free ice rink with music from Hush Silent Disco and over 500 people were able to skate throughout the day including a group from Sight for Wight. Food stalls and the Travelling Tavern bus kept shoppers fed and watered as they watched the skating and enjoyed the Quay.
Before the switch on at 18:00, the 3 winners of the recent NCCC ‘Light up a Lamppost’ competition, Zoe, Angel-Hope and Liam turned on prototypes of their winning entries which had been made by NDL Electrical ready to go up alongside Church Litten.
At 18:00, Pippa the Polar Bear and Allo Allo’s Sue Hodge turned on the Christmas lights in town, which are particularly spectacular this year with LED lights and twinkling lights.
With the push of the plunger, the spectacular new twinkling lights were lit and Medina Marching Band began playing as snow filled St James’s Square.
Newport Carnival had arranged for a small illuminated vehicle parade led by Vectis Corps of Drums.
NDL Electrical’s spectacular Christmas decorations throughout the town have been positively received with some saying they are the best ever! The newly installed festoons throughout town were lit all day to add to the festive atmosphere.
Chair of NCCC, Councillor Geoff Brodie, has said:
“Saturday was astonishing. In my 30 years in this town I have never seen it so busy. So many happy faces, happy children, happy families. Shops are reporting record sales. This proved that not everything councils do is bad news. That Newport is not what the naysayers claim. The staff of NCCC worked so hard to deliver the Day of Christmas and my grateful thanks to them all.”
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