VIDEO: Harborough Fayre one to remember

Ice skating on The Square, a 70-strong choir on the High Street, a helter skelter behind the church, a saxophone band at the market and Morris dancers outside Starbucks.

These were just some of the attractions that turned Market Harborough into a winter wonderland at the Christmas Fayre on Friday night.

Fire eater Klas R Tacer wows the crowds during the Market Harborough Christmas Fayre. (MAIL PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER) NNL-140812-135022001

Fire eater Klas R Tacer wows the crowds during the Market Harborough Christmas Fayre. (MAIL PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER) NNL-140812-135022001

An estimated crowd of about 5,000 people packed the town centre for a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Fayre committee chairman Sofi Vaughan said: “I would like to thank everyone who made the Fayre such a success.

“By the end, the organisers were exhausted and very happy.”

And Harborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce vice-president Alastair Campbell added: “It was great to see so many people in town – busier than previous years I thought.

“I think Sofi and the team did a really good job.”

Across the heaving town centre, stallholders and entertainers were delighted by the evening.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Sally Field, who was selling raffle tickets for Naseby Primary School. “We hope to raise £1,000 tonight.”

“We just wanted to support the event,” said John Pacey of brass quintet Jubilee Brass, who were playing outside Joules Clothing in High Street.

While Jess Hunting, choir leader of the 70-strong Rock Choir, performing at the top of High Street, added: “It’s lovely to be here, and really well organised.”

On The Square, Owen Brooks of radio station Harborough FM, said: “It’s amazing, especially considering the committee only had a few weeks to bring it all together.

“It’s a great spectacle.”

David Ball, the squire of Braybrooke Morris Dancers who were in Adam and Eve Street, said: “Oh it’s lovely and busy as it is every year.”

At the bustling Harborough Market in Northampton Road, members of sax band Saxophonia agreed: “We’re surprised how busy the market is for this time of night.”

And on Manor Walk, Carol Watson, from Real Reindeer Ltd, said: “We’ve seen hundreds of people here. Reindeer bring a bit of Christmas joy.”

So what did Harborough’s permanent shops think?

Some were happy with trade on the night, while others see the Fayre as a chance for visitors to weigh up the town’s shops rather than actually do their shopping.

“Yes, people have been buying. It’s been a great evening,” said Diane Simpson, on the Mark Evans Jewellery stall at Harborough Market.

Jade Johnston, from the Kitchen Range Cookshop in Church Street, agreed and said: “We’re reasonably pleased so far.”

At Rapport on Manor Walk, Liz Rackham said: “It’s a day for children and families.

“There are a lot of people in town; business-wise it’s okay.”

“My worry is that as you get more attractions in the street, so the footfall in the shops becomes less,” said Martin Abbott of clothes shop Josiah’s in High Street.

“The jury’s still out.”

Meanwhile, Fayre committee chair Sofi Vaughan is already thinking ahead to next year’s event.

“If we can do that in eight weeks, we should be able to do even better in 364 days” she said. “I’d love to be involved again next year.

“But we want the shops to be happy. In the end, it’s all about the shops.”