Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Si­mon Mor­ley and Stephen Holt on the beat as a vil­lage was trans­ported back in time, with res­i­dents and vis­i­tors dress­ing up and en­joy­ing plenty of en­ter­tain­ment. Grass­ing­ton Dick­en­sian Fes­ti­val at­tracted a record num­ber of vis­i­tors.

GRASS­ING­TON’S VIC­TO­RIAN her­itage has helped to draw a record crowd to one of the most cel­e­brated fes­tive events in the York­shire Dales.

The Grass­ing­ton Dick­en­sian Fes­ti­val fea­tured jug­glers and buskers, ch­est­nut sellers and a sil­ver band, as well as Punch and Judy shows, Vic­to­rian-style mu­si­cians, dance per­for­mances and plays. One of the high­lights was the ar­rival of Fa­ther Christ­mas.

Or­gan­is­ers said it had been a joy­ous oc­ca­sion for all in­volved.

“It’s been ab­so­lutely bril­liant,” said fes­ti­val co­or­di­na­tor An­gela Jack­son as the fes­tiv­i­ties, which took place over the first two week­ends of De­cem­ber, wound down yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“It’s re­ally amaz­ing how ev­ery­body comes to­gether and pulls out all of the stops to make it hap­pen. The vil­lage just lends it­self to such an event, you can’t get away from its Vic­to­rian her­itage and that’s what makes it so unique.

“It’s a real com­mu­nity event, and it’s so in­cred­i­ble to see.” There were a record num­ber of visi­tor num­bers on the first Satur­day of the fes­ti­val. Count­ing cars, Mrs Jack­son said there were over 1,000 on the first two days and 800 more over this week­end, with the ad­di­tion of 165 coach-loads of vis­i­tors over­all. “That’s such a lot of peo­ple,” said Mrs Jack­son.

The vil­lage is trans­ported back to the time of Dick­ens, with shop­keep­ers, vil­lagers and vis­i­tors dressed in Vic­to­rian cos­tume. “The stall-hold­ers are all dressed up, the shop­keep­ers, cafe own­ers and a good num­ber of guests. It’s just a great start to the sea­son’s fes­tiv­i­ties,” Mrs Jack­son added.

The an­nual fes­ti­val has run for nearly 40 years. For many in the area, it is one of the big­gest events on the fes­tive cal­en­dar, with peo­ple from nu­mer­ous lo­cal schools, char­i­ties and com­mu­nity groups at­tend­ing.



WHAT THE DICK­ENS: Top: the Ex­tra­or­di­nary Vic­to­ri­ans en­ter­tain vis­i­tors at Grass­ing­ton Dick­en­sian Fes­ti­val; above right: a tra­di­tional Punch and Judy show de­lights young and old; above left: Leeds Mor­ris Men; be­low: the Red Hot San­tas at­tract a big crowd.

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