Spreading Joy and Festive Cheer in Our Village
As the holiday season is upon us, our picturesque village came alive with the spirit of Christmas this weekend with its much-anticipated ‘Christmas Fair.’ Held at the heart of the village in Hapstead Hall, this event was a delightful celebration of community, merriment, and the true essence of Christmas. With a wide array of activities and festivities, Ardingly’s Christmas Fair brought together villagers of all ages, making it a memorable event for one and all.
A Village Unites:
The Christmas Fair, which kicked off at 2 pm, was a true testament to Ardingly’s strong sense of community. The village’s organisations and talented artists joined forces to set up 20 stalls, showcasing their crafts and wares. The Three Acre Brewery added to the local flavour by offering their renowned beer in bottles and small casks, giving visitors a taste of Ardingly’s unique charm.
The Women’s Institute (WI) Cafe served up delicious refreshments, ensuring that attendees had the opportunity to savor some traditional holiday treats. Additionally, a raffle held during the event raised funds for Hapstead Hall, demonstrating the community’s dedication to supporting its local institutions.
A Magical Experience for Kids:
One of the highlights of the Christmas Fair was the enchanting Santa’s Grotto. Decorated to perfection, it drew in around fifty children who were treated to a magical encounter with Santa and his elves. Every child left with a gift, thanks to the generosity of Santa and his helpers.
Also, many of the children enjoyed having their faces painted courtesy of St. Peter’s Pre School.
An Evening of Light and Music:
As night fell upon Ardingly, St. Peter’s Church took centre stage, leading a beautiful Christingle service and carol singing session. It was a heart-warming experience that brought villagers together in song and reflection. To keep everyone warm and in high spirits, the Parish Council offered complimentary mince pies, mulled wine, and hot chocolate, with the WI lending a helping hand to ensure everyone was well taken care of.
Ardingly’s large oak tree next to Hapstead Hall was adorned with Christmas lights, casting a warm and festive glow over the proceedings. It served as a symbol of hope and unity, lighting up the night for all to see.
With over 100 attendees, including many cheerful children running around, the Christmas Fair was a resounding success. The sense of togetherness and joy was palpable, reminding everyone of the true meaning of the holiday season.
Continuing the Celebration:
The festivities didn’t end with the Christmas Fair. As the event concluded, the village spirit carried on at the Ardingly Inn, where residents and visitors alike came together to celebrate the joy of the season, forging bonds and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
In conclusion, Ardingly’s Christmas Fair was a heart-warming display of community spirit and holiday cheer. From the bustling stalls to the magical Santa’s Grotto and the serene carol service, the event encapsulated the true essence of Christmas. It was a day that brought Ardingly’s villagers together, fostering a sense of unity and belonging that will undoubtedly endure long after the holiday season has passed. Ardingly’s Christmas Fair was not just an event; it was a celebration of the village’s vibrant and close-knit community, spreading warmth and joy to all who attended.
(many thanks to Jim Sloane for the images)