Fine food and fun at win­ter fes­ti­val

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Mp’s Arrest Sparks Outrage - by James Lawren­son

A TWO-DAY win­ter fes­ti­val in the town cen­tre saw mu­si­cians and traders gather for a cel­e­bra­tion of food, crafts and lo­cal pro­duce. Euro­pean stall­hold­ers of­fer­ing con­ti­nen­tal de­lights such as paella, Dutch pan­cakes and Pol­ish am­ber joined the reg­u­lar mar­ket on Fri­day. The fes­ti­val was held to cel­e­brate Ash­ford’s im­proved shop­ping fa­cil­i­ties and the open­ing of El­wick Square. Town cen­tre co-or­di­na­tor Viv Kenny said: “The fes­ti­val pro­vided a great kick start for the run-up to the fes­tive pe­riod. It was lovely to see so many peo­ple en­joy­ing them­selves.” In­ti­macy Gigs joined forces with the Town Cen­tre Part­ner­ship to of­fer a full day of en­ter­tain­ment in County Square on the Satur­day, in­clud­ing gui­tarists Nathan Holme and John Lally. The ice rink in the car park of Char­ter House also proved pop­u­lar. Ice World or­gan­iser Paul Whitehouse said: “We saw more than 500 peo­ple over the fes­ti­val week­end and num­bers are ris­ing steadily as word gets round.”

The County Square shop­ping cen­tre has lined up a num­ber of pre-Christ­mas events. On Satur­day, be­tween 11am and 4pm, lo­cal com­mu­nity choirs and bands will per­form. Then over the week­end of De­cem­ber 13 and 14 singing elves and Bjorn the po­lar bear make an ap­pear­ance. Santa’s Lit­tle Helpers will visit on De­cem­ber 20 and 21, with mu­sic from a gospel choir, bur­lesque girl band Adora and 1950s-in­spired band the Doo Wop Dolls. Thurs­day late-night shop­ping kicked off last week with hun­dreds of shop­pers tuck­ing into 500 free mince pies, 40 litres of wine and en­joy­ing street en­ter­tain­ment.

Artists Vanessa Jayne and Chris Clark at the Ash­ford win­ter fes­ti­val Pic­tures: Gary Browne pd 1515025

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