Ahead of this year’s Christmas Fair, we sat down with the fair’s co-ordinator Caroline Pearce to ask few questions about what we can expect from Farnham Maltings’ annual festive event.
How long has the fair been running?
The fair is now in its 11th year. Last year, we decided to re-organise the event to be more like the other festivals the Maltings’ holds, such as the knitting festival unravel, making it longer and more ambitious. The extension of it, running until 9pm, allows visitors to come after work and bring their children after school, making it accessible for all ages.
Due to the change last year, the format of the event continues on from that. Following on from the success of having various choirs and other musical acts perform, this will be brought back this year with all artists performing in the foyer. The ukulele club, which is held within the centre, will also be performing as well as the Rock Choir.
What parts are you most excited about this year?
I’d have to say I’m looking forward to the different choirs performing again. They were all incredibly popular last year and added a new element to the fair, providing more entertainment for the visitors to enjoy.
Yes, there will be more workshops to enjoy, some paid and some free. Again, these will be a variety of different craft-making activities to participate in. Whilst these are aimed at those over 10 and above, these stalls have no skill requirement so everyone can join in and make their own Christmas decorations.
How does the event flow?
All of the musical acts are situated mainly in the foyer, although we are hoping to get some of the choirs on the stage in the Great Hall, as we think it will give a real buzz to the room. The various stalls will be situated throughout the building, so there will be plenty of rooms to explore.
What kind of stalls will there be?
There will be vast mixture of local craft makers selling Christmas decorations, jewellery and other great items that could easily be given as gifts. There will be lots of different food stalls, serving a range of cuisines from curry and samosas, to festive treats such as mince pies and mulled wine.
It’s hugely important to us that the local area gets involved with this annual tradition. All of the stalls and items be that ceramics, toys or food, will be locally made and procured.
This market is the biggest in Surrey. What makes it so special?
I believe the building is what makes the fair so unique. Due to its age and historical connotations, it makes it a perfect place for guests to wander the various rooms and get into the festive mood. The fact that is also encourages community spirit is another reason for its popularity.
Why should people come along?
It is a wonderful event to come and find some unique Christmas gifts (and items for yourself) not to be found on the high street. It’s also a great occasion to bring the whole family to and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The Christmas Fair takes place on Tue 08 & Wed 09 December from 12pm-9pm each day and is part of a month long programme of festive events this December. See our What’s on page or pick up one of our brand new christmas at the maltings guides available from the Box Office from Fri 13 November.