THE ORGANISERS of both Colne’s Second Food Festival and the Christmas in Colne Event last Saturday are delighted with the enthusiasm that has been shown for their events. It has been estimated that between 2,300 and 2,500 people gathered in The Precinct to watch the Firework Finale, far outstripping attendances in previous years.

Co-opted Colne Town Council Events Committee member, Ashley Sutcliffe of Colne’s Live Like the Boy, worked with Let’s Get Crafty’s, Charlie Bolton, to host the Food Festival in venues all over Colne. Ashley commented: “Organising the Festival was absolutely exhausting, but so worthwhile. In the end, it was marvellous to be part of it and see everyone having such a good time. The feedback we’ve had had been tremendous – overwhelming, actually.”

100 foodie and craft stalls were dotted all over Colne. The aroma of quirky street food filled the air, with exotic hotdogs, pulled pork and burgers made from zebra and ostrich.

Events Committee Chair, Cllr. Dorothy Lord said: “There have been so many positive comments from members of the public and traders alike on Facebook and Twitter. Combining our Christmas in Colne event with the Food Festival has proved to be a masterstroke for us and the town. It was wonderful to see the town teeming with families all having a good time. I’d like to thank my fellow committee members, the excellent security team and everyone who helped or performed.”

Throughout the day, the crowds in the streets of Colne were entertained by an eclectic bunch of entertainers, including, The Lancashire Wallopers, who brought their clog dancing horse, The Red Rose Chorus, a barbershop choir, Pendle Jazzmen, Darwin Brass Band, Pendle Youth Choir and acoustic vocal performers, Dead 20s and New Rendition.

The torchlight parade was the biggest ever and looked spectacular, as it made its way up through the town to St Bartholomew’s where a short service was held. Helen Green’s dance troup staged a seasonally themed dance just before the fireworks began based on the film, Frozen, and, to the delight of the many children present, featuring Elsa.

Increased footfall had a positive impact on local businesses too. Rob McCluskey, a stallholder in the market, commented: “Whilst 80% of my normal trade is either previous customers or recommendations from previous customers, yesterday was primarily taken up talking to folks who haven’t been in the market for months and most of my sales were to these new faces. I’d actually run out of stock by 2 p.m. which normally lasts me till Wednesday! When we shut up around 6.30 pm, we emerged to a town centre awash with families and there was a genuine feel good atmosphere in the air.”

Jilly Sandamas enthused: “I am delighted to tell you that in the Samaritans bookshop we enjoyed our best ever day’s trading in eight years of trading. Thanks to those who bought books, those who entered the tombola and those intrepid souls who pedalled their own smoothies on the cyclo-smoothie. Can we do it all again next week please?”

Special guests, Andrew Stephenson MP and the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Cllr. Graham Roach and Cllr. Joanna Sagar, also gave positive feedback to the events’ organisers, with the latter sporting festive light up jumpers in honour of the occasion.

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