Wednesday, December 18, 2013
GOOD weather, a terrific parade, welcoming shops, busy stalls and plenty of festive spirit brought the crowds out on to the streets for Budleigh’s late-night shopping last Friday.
With Santa in his sleigh, carnival royalty aboard their float, the Exmouth town crier, children from St Peter’s School carrying lanterns and the merry sounds of Jingle Bells echoing around Fore Street, it was a memorable parade.
As Santa headed for his grotto to hear children’s wishes, the carol service at Mackerel Square drew a large and joyful crowd.
On Fore Street and around the town there was plenty of music and entertainment to delight, along with a buzzing barbecue and other refreshments.
And nearly every shop was open, many of them welcoming customers with complementary mince pies and mulled wine. “It was brilliant – a lovely evening!” said Alan Tilbury, president of Budleigh Salterton’s Chamber of Commerce, which organised the event.
“The weather stayed bright. The parade went well. The carols round the tree were successful. And the grotto was popular with all the children.”
There had been concerns that having a marquee from local business group Budleigh in Business might harm the event. That wasn’t the case.
“We said, ‘OK, come along, if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine’,” said Alan.
“It was a nice night, it went well and we enjoyed it immensely,” said Angela Yarwood, Budleigh in Business chair. “All the feedback has been excellent. At the end, the chamber had been very supportive.”