TRADERS in Fareham aiming to revive their town have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the positive response from the community.
The West Street Fareham Community Forum (WSFCF) has spent the last few weeks organising their Christmas extravaganza for this weekend which also ties in with the council’s light switch on event.
Shane Davies from The Crafty Makery has been leading the group and helping community groups and youth organisations make and decorate lanterns for a parade on Sunday after the light switch on.
He said: ‘The response from the community has been amazing and I have had so many groups in to make lanterns for the parade which will be at Westbury Manor just after the light switch on which 4.30pm.
‘It really shows that people do want to be involved with the community and gives us hope that this will revive the town.’
The initiative, backed by The News, started earlier this year after businesses along West Street reported a downturn in footfall.
Shane said: ‘We have worked very hard in this short space of time to put this altogether and I think it is going to be an amazing events with lots of stalls and music.
‘So many people have wanted to be involved and gives our businesses which are down the other end of West Street from the precinct the chance to get people down here and see what our community has put together.’
On top of Fareham Borough Council’s Victorian Christmas with a market and musical and dance performances, the WSFCF has organised a variety of stalls, restaurants will be doing outside street food and there will be performances including the Mandaleigh Dance School.
Shane added: ‘What is really great is the council are now taking us seriously about the change we want to make and have organised a meeting with us next year to discuss how our events can coincide with their events and make the most of everything.’
For anyone still wanting to make a lantern for the parade, The Crafty Makery will be open from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday.
The council’s Victorian Christmas runs on both days from 10am until 8pm on Saturday and 10am until 6pm on Sunday.