Colne Food Festival beats wind and rain

Hardy Colners donned their waterproofs for the town’s festive Food Festival on Saturday, even though some of the stalls were blown away.

Driving rain and fierce winds failed to deter crowds determined to join in the torch-lit parade led by Father Christmas to the service at St Bartholomew’s, entertainment in the precinct and fireworks from the roof of the Union Exchange that brought the day to a close.

Daisy Pool, five, Finley Mattison, seven and Maisie Mattison, three with their waffles at the Colne Christmas Food festival

Daisy Pool, five, Finley Mattison, seven and Maisie Mattison, three with their waffles at the Colne Christmas Food festival

One of the most popular calling points for gastronomic shoppers was the German Weihnachtsmarkt from Colne’s twin town in Marl, Germany, which did a brisk trade in sausages, cakes, biscuits and Glühwein.

Festival founder, Colne Town councillor Ash Sutcliffe said: “I don’t think I have ever been wetter, but people were still smiling and many shoppers and traders told me that they appreciated all the entertainment. As usual, we had lots of free things for families and it was great to see lots of children with their faces painted, clutching an animal balloon and dashing off for a donkey ride.”

Colne’s best dressed festive window competition, judged by artist Alison Telfer, was won by No. 62 with MHD second.

Darwen Brass Band, Pendle Jazzmen, the Lancashire Wallopers and singing duo Carmella Highwater provided a musical background to the day. Pendle Youth Orchestra played and accompanied evening carol singing led by Andrea Monk in the precinct where dancers from Helen Green’s school performed on a stage formed by a Little’s Transport truck.

I don’t think I have ever been wetter, but people were still smiling and many shoppers and traders told me that they appreciated all the entertainment

Colne Town councillor Ash Sutcliffe

It was a successful day for good causes, with Colne in Bloom raising almost £400 from its cake stall and Lidgett and Beyond netted £800 from its sale of calendars and Tracey Bolton’s cupcakes.

Amelia McGladdery from Colne with Jennifer Johnson from the Fudge Factory at the Colne Christmas Food festival

Amelia McGladdery from Colne with Jennifer Johnson from the Fudge Factory at the Colne Christmas Food festival