Festive cheer filled the Lincolnshire Showground this weekend (1 and 2 December) at the annual Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair, which saw 150 exhibitors and more than 8,000 visitors through its doors.
Lincolnshire’s finest food, fresh produce and unique gifts were all on display, but it was Santa’s Workshop that added the real sparkle, offering hands-on-crafts for the little ones to enjoy.
Alison Walling from Lincolnshire Willow had a stand inside Santa’s Workshop for the first time, offering children a chance to get creative and try willow weaving.
Alison said: “It was a truly fantastic weekend, we had so many visitors across both days – it was non-stop! The children had so much fun making stars and Christmas trees out of natural willow – it was lovely to teach them a new skill. Seeing their beaming smiles and happy faces when they saw the end result was the real highlight.
“The atmosphere across the Showground was as lively as ever, there was definitely a sprinkle of Christmas magic about the place.”
The popular Santa’s Workshop returned for the third year, providing hours of free entertainment for young visitors – including gingerbread decorating, painting Christmas decorations, storytelling and making reindeer food – whilst older visitors could enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping and sample delicious festive treats.
Kelly Little, who visited the Fair this year for the first time with her two-year-old son, said: “We’ve really enjoyed all the kid’s activities in Santa’s Workshop – they’ve been amazing! My son particularly loved the reindeer food, pottery painting and willow weaving and I really enjoyed the chef’s demonstrations in the Lincolnshire Kitchen; they were really fun to watch.
“We’ve visited lots of stalls and I’ve bought some unique Christmas presents that I wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”
Local suppliers were also present, offering everything from speciality cheese to wine, to famous Lincolnshire sausages and locally distilled gin, as well as beautiful decorations and one of a kind gifts.
Jayne Southall, CEO of the Lincolnshire Showground, said: “We were so pleased to have so many visitors to the 18th Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair. Christmas is such a special time for the whole family – we’re so happy to make this magical time come to life.
“The Lincolnshire Kitchen went down a treat, with passionate chefs and producers showing off their secrets and demonstrating their favourite festive recipes, and the live performances from local choirs certainly helping to get visitors into the Christmas spirit!
“The Food & Gift Fair is such a fun event for all the family, it suits all tastes and all ages, and we are extremely proud to welcome so many local visitors and exhibitors each year to celebrate the very best that Lincolnshire has to offer.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everyone that had a part to play in making this year’s Fair so special and we thoroughly enjoyed kicking off Christmas in true Lincolnshire Showground style!”