Christmas spectacular in Matlock

This year’s Victorian Christmas Market was another success – despite weather damage threatening to cancel it.

Quick–witted organisers rushed to save the annual event, after freak winds on Thursday obliterated one of the huge marquees in Hall Leys Park.

Only part of the second marquee remained when the market opened on Friday, however that didn’t stop residents and visitors alike flocking to the festive event.

The traditional Santa’s Christmas Parade took place on Saturday through the streets of Matlock and on board a coach and horses driven by Caroline Dale, from Darley Dales’ Red House stables, was Sarah Teale BBC TV News Presenter and the Mayor of Matlock Councillor David Jones.

Sarah went on to switch on the Matlock Christmas Lights from the bandstand that evening.

There was a full entertainment programme over the three days including Chester the Clown, Phil Blackmore with juggling and fire eating, a selection of bands and the ever popular fairground organ in Crown Square.

Among the stalls, 13–year–old Highfields pupil Grace Arnold was selling mistletoe to raise money for a Parkinsons charity.

Cllr Geoff Stevens, chairman of the organising committee, said: “This year it had been a very real challenge to stage the show after the damage which had been caused by the freak gales on Thursday afternoon, but there had been a tremendous effort by so many people.

“My special thanks go to the small but dedicated staff of Matlock Town Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council for their practical assistance, and all our contractors and stall holders for their help and understanding.

“We were also delighted with the public response to the whole weekend and the crowds were the largest in the events 18 year history.”

The weekend finished with a bang – a spectacular firework display on the Sunday night.