The countdown to Christmas officially began in Hertford over the weekend with an extremely successful Christmas Gala in the town centre on Friday and the Hertford Castle Christmas Market from Friday to Sunday.
Both events were organised by Hertford Town Council and sponsored by Johnson & Co, McMullen’s Brewery and Duffield Harrison. The festivities took place across Hertford town centre and the Castle Grounds, with residents and visitors encouraged to visit the county town, shop locally and get into the Christmas spirit.
On Friday, The Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Sue Barber officially switched on the lights in the town centre with a range of entertainment provided including performances by Stagecoach Hertford and the Simon Balle Big Band. The town centre streets were filled with Christmas market stalls and food stands and other entertainment.
Thousands of people were also welcomed through the gates into the beautiful Castle grounds to enjoy the festivities at the Christmas Market, which included 25 stalls selling an array of products from homeware, crafts, jewellery, fairground rides and live entertainment. Food and drink stands provided seasonal treats and refreshments which added to the festive atmosphere.
This year the Mayor and Councillors welcomed a Ukrainian choir singing traditional Christmas songs at both events, and a Ukrainian cultural stall displaying a selection of traditional handicraft products was popular at the Christmas Market.
The Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Sue Barber said “It was a delight to welcome our Ukrainian guests to join us at the Christmas Market, see their beautiful gifts and handicrafts on display and watch the wonderful performance of the Ukrainian choir on stage”.
Over the course of the weekend a total of £462.91 was raised in donations for the Mayor of Hertford’s chosen charities: Future Hope and Hertford Dramatic and Operatic Society.
Chairman of Hertford Town Council’s Development & Leisure Committee, Cllr Jane Sartin, said: "The Christmas Gala and Market take a huge amount of organising by Hertford Town Council’s Officers, and the support of volunteers, performers, and stall holders. I’m grateful to everyone who played a part in their success. The events were a great start to Christmas in Hertford town centre, and I’d encourage everyone to look at the wide range of businesses in the town for their Christmas shopping over the next few weeks."