Another record crowd (exceeding 2,000 people) packed Billingshurst High Street on Saturday 2 December for this year’s BilliFest Family Fund Day & Christmas Fayre. Some 250 children visited Santa and his elves after the 9-year old winner of the BilliFest Poster Painting Competition opened the event to the sound of St. Mary’s bells.
The High Street was closed to traffic from 6am to 6pm and more than 40 gazebos were erected by dawn. The Christmas tree, electrical supplies and tables and chairs were brought in by the Billingshurst Community Partnership’s organizing committee as the sun rose, and the aroma of the hog roast filled the morning air as stallholders set up for the 10am opening. The event offered everything from cheeses to Christmas wreathes, and from hand-made pottery to cuddly toys and craft beers. The Scouts & Guides were there too, as were a number of churches and charities.
Ken Johnson, Chair of the Billingshurst Community Partnership’s BilliFest organising committee, said: “More than ever, Billingshurst families and friends in the area turned out in force, for our biggest community event at this festive time of year. We hope that everyone enjoyed it.
“We are indebted to our working committee, stallholders and to our principal sponsors, The Big Lottery. Also, we thank our Main Sponsors: Devine Homes, COCO’s Style, Lions, and The King’s Head; plus, our Supporting Sponsors: Riverdale Developments, Truffles, and Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce. BilliFest is organised by the Billingshurst Community Partnership, and we thank everyone who helped make it such a success.
“The raffle this year was also a record, with nearly 3,000 tickets sold. If you were not there to hear the top ten winners announced, we will telephone you in the coming days, as there were dozens of great prizes.
“A huge thank you, too, goes to our entertainers: Radio Weald students, the Billingshurst Choral Society, Lifestyle Fitness, Billingshurst’s very own crooner, Rob Nicholl; Sandra Myskow, Simon Jones, BilliUke, Charlie Austen and Punch & Judy. We hope that everyone has a wonderful festive season”.