Festive cheer was brought to Ardingly at the weekend for a magical Christmas winter fair.
Families flocked to attend the show at the South of England Showground, enjoying a spectacular giant winter snow globe, captivating entertainment, live music, fantastic food offers and inspirational shopping, spreading Christmas cheer and kicking off the festive season in style.
It is the fourth year in a row the venue has hosted the annual two-day Winter Fair.
Iain Nicol, chief executive officer of the society and director of the event centre said: “We were delighted to finish our 2018 show season with another packed out Winter Fair.
“Visitors were able to stay warm and dry in our three large heated shopping pavilions, with over 180 stalls selling superb food and drink, clothes, accessories and a wide range of Christmas gifts and greetings presents.
“People could stock up on dozens of delicious festive treats in our fantastic Food Hall and there was live music and entertainment in the best street food experience we’ve seen yet.”
Children particularly enjoyed the impressive 16ft snow globe, offering the opportunity to be transported into a sparkling winter wonderland.
Hundreds enjoyed visiting Santa’s magical grotto as well as the traditional vintage carousel and fairground.
The new chocolate workshop run by Jen Lindsey-Clark of Chocolatician was very popular with visitors. Jen said: “What a fabulously delicious weekend of chocolate Christmas tree decoration workshops at the Winter Fair.
“We got through gallons of chocolate and the Christmas decorations were so creatively made by all our budding chocolatiers of all ages.
“[It was] such a joy to be able to bring the art, science and magic of chocolate to this wonderful event.”
A Christmas choir and two eye-catching Christmas Belles on stilts led the seasonal celebrations offering a truly joyful welcome to thousands of visitors.
Shoppers were also able to take a break and relax in the large undercover street food court.
There was a fantastic array of international flavours were on offer including Caribbean, Thai, Greek, Indian and Turkish dishes as well as more traditional cuisine from The London Pie and Mash Company to local Sussex brewers, Harveys.
Live music was performed throughout the day from the fantastic Brighton-based Harry’s Tricks with their distinctive swing sound, followed by Kent-based acoustic singer, songwriter Fred Clark, who sang some great sing-a-long Christmas classics.
Following the continued expansion of the event, the new layout provided visitors with a much improved shopping experience and the organisers confirmed that they plan to continue to expand and improve on this further for next year.