Lewes Late Night Shopping returns for Christmas 2023: Santa’s grotto and street entertainment at family-friendly evening

The popular Lewes Late Night Shopping event is returning in time for Christmas.
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The evening, which is organised by Lewes Chamber of Commerce, takes place from 6pm to 9pm on Thursday, December 7.

The High Street will be closed to traffic from the bottom of School Hill to the junction with Westgate Street. Many shops will be open in the High Street, Cliffe Street, and the Needlemakers, along with other premises, including the Town Hall, Fitzroy House and the House of Friendship.

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Ashley Price, president of Lewes Chamber of Commerce, said: “It's a great evening for residents of Lewes to come out and support their shops.”

Lewes Late Night shopping in 2014Lewes Late Night shopping in 2014
Lewes Late Night shopping in 2014

He said: “Historically it was done so people who were at work had an evening where they could go and do their Christmas shopping.”

But now Ashley said it has become a much more social affair, complete with street entertainment and an upbeat atmosphere.

He said: “We have the food stalls on the precinct so there’s lots for people to do and we have a Santa’s grotto as well.” He added: “The children love seeing Father Christmas.”

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The evening will feature all the usual attractions, like the Best Dressed Window competition, food, drink and market stalls, the Shopping Trail, the Craft Market, and live music and entertainers.

The Best Dressed Window will be judged by Lewes’s deputy mayor Imogen Makepeace and Ashley Price. The winner will get an engraved trophy, a certificate for their window and a year’s subscription to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Shopping Trail competition lets people collect a card from Tourist Information, the Town Hall or participating shops. They can then visit shops on the card and get a stamp and letter from each shop. The letters will form an anagram, which is a Christmas themed word. When the cards are collected in there will be a draw for the top three prizes: first prize – A Harvey’s Goody Bag, second prize – a Cheese Please Hamper, third prize – a £20 book token from Bags of Books.

The night is also a fundraiser for The Bevern Trust who help people with disabilities live active and fulfilling lives. Ashley said: “Bevern Trust are a very worthwhile local charity and have done a lot of great work for people with profound disabilities in their home.”