Storm Desmond can’t stop Christmas in Garstang

A defiant Garstang showed true festive spirit in the aftermath of Storm Desmond with the whole community coming together for the popular Garstang Victorian Festival.

The centre of town and streets surrounding were once again packed with crowds and visiting displays for the annual festive event held on Monday and Tuesday night.

Garstang Christmas and Victorian Festival.'Pictured are Catrina Haines, Jennifer Richards, Christine Murphy and Lynne Din.

Garstang Christmas and Victorian Festival.'Pictured are Catrina Haines, Jennifer Richards, Christine Murphy and Lynne Din.

Organisers had urged visitors to take care on the trip into town in the wake of the weekend’s heavy rain and wind which brought widespread flooding to neighbouring villages.

But revellers were not deterred and turned out in their hundreds to enjoy the festivities, historic traditions and take advantage of the late night shopping and Christmas fayre on offer.

New festival committee chairman Luke Pollard said it was an honour to have taken on the role from Damian Carr, who has headed the committee for the past 10 years.

He said: “The Christmas and Victorian Festival is something which is so firmly on Garstang’s calendar that it is an real honour for me to now chair the group.

“It’s an event I remember coming to as a child with my parents and now my kids love coming to it too. Let’s hope we can continue to evolve this amazing event so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

He added: “The festival is a brilliant time to meet new shop keepers and browse their fantastic products. So many new independent businesses have opened this year

“I think some people will be surprised what is right here on their doorstep. Many of them have offers and promotions, mulled wine and mince pies on the night.”

Families made the most of the milder weather and enjoyed the street spectacles from the live bands, street entertainers to Punch and Judy and a visit from Alice in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter.

And excited children lined up to visit Santa in his grotto, organised by Garstang Lions.

This year he was re-located inside the King’s Arm pub due to the weather.

Audra Threlfall, from Blackpool, writing on the Garstang Christmas and Victorian Festival Facebook page said: “Had to go the long way from Blackpool to Broughton on to Garstang because of road closures and it was raining but well worth the effort. Great event as usual well done everyone.”

Sylvia Parkes added: “What a fab night, look forward to next year.”

The streets were lined with Christmas market stalls selling an array of gifts and food and Aged In Oak wine bar teamed up with the Pantry Cafe for a pop up wine bar with festive music and nativity.