Over 70 stalls selling gifts, food, and drink; and a celebrity appearance made up the biggest ever Ross Christmas Fayre.

Huge crowds joined in the festivities on the day with plenty to keep them entertained, including live music by the Border Belles, Erica Jean, Chocolate Teapot, The Penyard Singers, Ross Town Band, as well as street entertainment by Jive by the Wye and the Grinch, whose mischievous pranks kept visitors on their toes. Santa’s Grotto was busy all day with lots of children eager to meet the main man.

The day was expertly compered by Ben Abbott, who helped to build the excitement for the lights switch on at 4.30pm which was conducted by TV presenter and local resident, Richard Hammond.

Before the countdown and the switching on of the lights, Richard spoke to the crowd to share his fondness of the town.

He said: “I am so very happy, as is my family, to be living here in Ross-on-Wye, we are very proud of this little town. I gather today has been an immense success. I have certainly enjoyed mooching around. I hope all the stalls have enjoyed a successful day.”

He added: “Everything we do at Christmas, the sharing of food, the exchanging of gifts, it is about love and friendship, and that is something you can experience for free very much in Ross-on-Wye.”

Ross-on-Wye Mayor Ed O’Driscoll said: “I just want to thank everybody for making the event so special, we saw the most people ever at our Christmas Fayre.

“The traders were all delighted and had a very successful day. We had 70 market stalls this year—20 more than last year—and they were all taken months in advance so it will be even bigger next year with 100 stalls available, but all our local shops did well too which is just fantastic. All the dignitaries from neighbouring towns and cities were very impressed, we’re putting Ross on the map!

“I was also very pleased to finally see our hedgehog lights, I’ve noticed a very positive reaction across social media and agree they really brighten up the town.”