Late-night shopping in Budleigh Salterton attracted crowds in their hundreds to soak up and evening of festive fun.
Budleigh’s High Street was packed on Friday (December 6) as families and shoppers mingled and browsed for unique gifts for their loved-ones while enjoying the evening’s varied entertainment throughout the town.
Budleigh Salterton and District Chamber of Commerce chairman Mike Hilliar said his hopes the 2019 late-night shopping event would be bigger and better than ever before had exceeded expectations.
Now he is looking ahead to 2020 with thoughts of how the town can top this year’s family fun and has a ‘few ideas’ up his sleeve.
Mr Hilliar said: “We were competing with the likes of Exmouth and Sidmouth this year and I thought we would have about ten people, but actually there was huge crowds.
“We had some really nice feedback from people saying how enjoyable it was.
“My only regret is that we didn’t have a snow machine like Topsham had. I would like to have had a few snow machines dotted around the town for late-night shopping.”
This year’s late-night shopping event highlighted the importance of showing support for Budleigh’s businesses through buying locally.
Budleigh Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging shops to display #whereyoushopmatters in windows and on doors, offering free campaign material to help businesses get started.
Mr Hilliar said: “People ask me why I do so much for the town. I do it for the community spirit. They all came out, they all care, and that’s what it’s all about – supporting the High Street.”
Mr Hilliar thanked all who gave their time to support the town’s late-night shopping evening, including the Budleigh Salterton Lions Club, and the Budleigh Carnival Club, who helped marshal the road closure.
A raffle from the evening raised £591, and a further £146 was donated by Sampson’s Butchery, in Budleigh High Street, from the proceeds of burgers sold on the night.
Street entertainment, circus skills, live music, carol singing and performances from St Peter’s Primary School pupils made up some of the night’s fun as the High Street was closed to traffic, giving shoppers time to mingle, chat and browse as the shops stayed open after hours.
- Now see a video of the night and more photos, by Helen Warren.