Bumper crowds enjoyed this year’s Lewes Late Night Shopping event.
Unusually the weather was kind to organisers as rain eased just moments before the opening ceremony to leave shoppers with a crisp, cold evening.
The event was launched by television presenter and wine expert Olly Smith, who spoke passionately about his love of the town, before signalling the lantern parade to make its way over Cliffe Bridge and through the town.
Organised by Lewes district children’s art charity Patina, it proved a spectacular success and involved about 100 young people.
In collaboration with Lewes Town Council and local young people’s organisations including the Woodcraft Folk, the 4th Lewes Scout Group, Landport Youth Group and Sussex Downs College, the procession displayed an array of beautiful lanterns made by the young people themselves at special workshops run by Patina.
Led by the Mayor of Lewes, Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe, the procession made its way to the Gun Garden at Lewes Castle where the newly-introduced skating rink was in full swing.
Shops in the town worked hard to ensure that shoppers were enticed with the wonderful range of goods on offer. Other attractions this year included a Christmas market at the Town Hall, the town trail and Harveys Brewery’s heavy horses busily delivering Christmas wreaths to businesses throughout the town.
Music was a big part of this year’s entertainment with Waterloo Bonfire Society’s Pipe and Drum Band roaming around the streets and delighting people with their quality and enthusiasm. There was a great variety of music to be heard with handbell ringing at the top of the High Street, Scott Free filling Harveys yard with classic upbeat tunes and many carol singers performing throughout the town.
The Oyster Project were out in force collecting money for the good causes, and organisers anticipate that a good sum was raised on the night by the many shops and volunteers. Lewes Chamber of Commerce said there were many people to thank for making the evening a success. Full details are available at www.leweschamber.co.uk
For more pictures see the Sussex Express newspaper.