High St fair brings out the crowds
HANHAM'S first High Street summer fair has been declared a roaring success.
Already organisers are talking of holding another next year and promising it will be even bigger and better.
Buoyed by the sunny weather, families made their way through local streets in droves to reach the main road which had been closed to traffic.
They were greeted by an array of stalls and entertainment as people of all ages joined in the fun and soaked up the community atmosphere.
Traders put up colourful flags and balloons outside their shops which gave a real carnival atmosphere to proceedings.
Stalls included Friends of Hanham Woods Academy, Christchurch Preschool, Prostrate Cancer Care, plants, face-painting, books and games, sweets, arts and crafts and glitter tattoos.
Among the food offerings were Caribbean food, barbecued burgers and hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and candy floss.
There was a special performance by Hetti, a hessian elephant, and her keeper, Dr Annie M Sticke from Animystic Productions.
Further down the road there was a tea-cup fair ride for the younger ones and a Crazy Castle which proved popular with older children.
Nicola Bartlett and Carl Smith at Eclectic Gift Shop dreamed up the idea of a summer fair after being inspired by the 2017 Christmas fair and set about organising it.
They were helped by 54a Hair and Beauty, John Wood’s Cycle Repair Centre, Flawless Nails and Beauty and staff at Chris Skidmore’s office.
Carl said: “High streets in general have been experiencing a decline in footfall and events like these help to stimulate the local economy. If we want our high streets to survive we all have to embrace them and shop locally.
"We’ve made some great friends on the high street while organising the summer fair. The High Street is the heart of our community and we all want to ensure it survives by holding more of these community events."
Nicola said: "We really are very grateful to all those who rallied around to put on the event, including all the stewards who volunteered their time.
"We are thrilled with how many people came along. I’m still buzzing from the fair as so many people came along and had a fantastic afternoon. I absolutely love being part of the High Street. "Next year’s one will be even bigger and better. We're bursting with ideas."
Nicola and Carl are already working on organising a Halloween trail along the High Street and will be holding a grotto evening in their shop for local children and families.