THOUSANDS of festive folk descended on Beaumaris to enjoy a feast of Victorian Christmas fun and entertainment on Saturday.
The annual Beaumaris Victorian Christmas Festival has been hailed a “huge success” by organisers and helped lift the town’s spirits dampened by recent floods.
Despite road diversions and closures still in place – including a section of the main road to Beaumaris, the A545 at Glyn Garth bends which is still closed due to a landslide – it was estimated that some 3-4,000 people arrived in the town for the popular celebration.
The event saw many saw people getting into the Victorian Christmas spirit, donning historical costumes and taking part in traditional activities.
Sights and sounds included Victorian carriage rides through the snow – courtesy of a snow machine – stalls selling festive fare including hot chestnuts, mulled wine and toffee apples.
There were crafts at several venues, the Seindorf Beaumaris brass band played and there were donkey rides . Children also got to meet ‘Elsa,’ a character from the Frozen movie, during fun activities at the Beaumaris Leisure Centre.
At one point, the crowds were highly entertained when a masked mystery Victorian highway man leapt into the road with a pistol to hold up one of the horse and carriage rides demanding “Stand and deliver! I need your money!”
The day culminated in a parade led by Queen Victoria, joined by other characters including Santa Claus and Mrs Claus. Joining in with the parade were several town mayors, the guests of the Mayor of Beaumaris Cllr Frank Carr and Mayoress Cllr Joan Carr, and they helped in the shop display judging.
The Christmas lights were switched on by 10-year-old Amy Williams, a Beaumaris Primary School pupil. Amy had won the honour, after the mayor had selected her as the winner in a drawing competition entered by the children from Llangoed and Beaumaris.
Beaumaris Town Councillor Jason Zalot said: “It has been a fantastic festival, a huge success, and we think maybe about 3,000 to 4,000 people came into town for it, which is amazing, despite all the set backs and road closures and the major flooding problems we’ve had to deal with recently.
“I have said it before, but here in Beaumaris, it takes a lot more than rain to dampen the spirits of people in this town!”