Record crowds have a jolly time at Skipton Yuletide Festival

Craven Herald: “The Red Hot Santas” performing to the crowds “The Red Hot Santas” performing to the crowds

The first Sunday of Skipton’s pre-Christmas Yuletide Festival has been declared a record-breaking success.

More than a hundred coaches brought shoppers into the town from all over the area.

Shops and community stalls reported a brisk trade as people poured into Skipton to enjoy a variety of entertainment, from granny dancers and musical nun Ruth to music from Skipton, Barnoldswick and Nelson brass bands.

On Saturday, as part of the festival, Skipton Camerata performed a free concert in Craven Court.

Town centre manager Brett Butler said: “It was great to see so many people in town. We had well over a hundred coaches visiting from all over the country – and that’s the most we’ve ever had for the first Sunday of the festival.”

He added: “We’ve had reports of very brisk trade from local businesses, market traders and from the dozens of community group stalls. The weather spoilt things a little towards the end of the day, but there was a really good atmosphere across the whole town centre. We’re now getting ready for the second weekend.”

The event, which will run again on Sunday from 10am to 4pm, will see the High Street closed for the entertainment, which will also take place in Otley Street and Victoria Square.

The Accrington Pipe Band return, along with The Red Hot Santas Jazz Band and local singer Rebecca Joy. There will be an authentic Dutch street organ and the festival will conclude with a torchlight procession up the High Street led by Skipton Mayor, Councillor John Kerwin-Davey.

Dave Parker, chief officer of Skipton Council, added all indications were that the festival would be one of the most successful yet, and pointed out it would not be possible without the support of Skipton Business Improvement District (BID), which finishes its current term in January and needs the support of local businesses for it to continue for another five years. “My staff work really hard on this event each year – and the reports we’ve had from Skipton businesses prove once again what an important event this is for the town,” said Mr Parker.

“We simply wouldn’t be able to put on the festival without the financial support we get from the Skipton Business Improvement District to add to our own resources. I think that is something all businesses in town need to bear in mind when they’re voting for the BID renewal in January.”


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