Grassington Dickensian Festival 'a huge success'

Craven Herald: Members of Penny Plain theatre company Richard Emmitt and Andrew Jackson share a tipple Members of Penny Plain theatre company Richard Emmitt and Andrew Jackson share a tipple

Good weather has contributed to a “hugely successful” Dickensian Festival in Grassington.

The festival, which takes place over the first three Saturdays in December, has seen a good turnout by visitors.

“We’ve been blessed by the weather both days so far,” said parish councillor and chamber of trade member John Benson. “This has contributed to a hugely successful event which has had a good atmosphere. People have really enjoyed themselves.

“There was a little bit of snow on the rooftops last Saturday and with all the lights, this added to the atmosphere.”

He also said that local organisations, such as the churches, town hall and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, had benefited from the brisk trade.

This year’s festival, the 31st to be held, has special significance as 2012 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.

Festivities continue on Saturday, swith the Hebden Bridge Band leading the opening parade at 11am.

The village will be a hive of activity throughout the daym with people dressed as characters from books by Charles Dickens.

The festival will also feature Urban Circus performers and entertainers, living statues, shoe shine boys, buskers and chestnut sellers. There will also be a traditional outdoor Christmas market and an indoor Christmas craft fair it the town hall.

Among the acts performing in Grassington’s cobbled square will be Settle Voices, Penny Plain Theatre Company, Grassington Players, harmony singers Baccapella and magician Professor Dan. Further performances, including two Punch and Judy shows, will take place in the top square.

A procession with Santa will take him to his grotto in the town hall and a torchlight nativity procession will be held at 4pm.

The Congregational Church will hold three Victorian magic lantern shows and the Grassington handbell ringers will give a performance in the Methodist Church.

In the evening, Grassington Singers will present their annual Christmas concert in the town hall.

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