Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Councillors to photograph silly string mess left by festival goers

Councillors to photograph silly string mess left by festival goers

COUNCILLORS will take photographs of areas where silly string has not been cleared up after the Henley Christmas Festival tonight (Friday).

They will take to the streets as soon as the event has finished to clear up the mess.

Children often spray each other and bystanders with the substance during the festival, which has prompted complaints from residents and business owners as it sticks fast to pavements and shop frontages when dry.

The owners of Bagatelle Toys in Bell Street, the only shop in Henley which sells it, have agreed to help clear up and will also only sell a limited number of the aerosols in advance.

The festival will run from 5pm to 9pm and many businesses will stay open late.

There will be an old-fashioned fun fair instead of the larger rides which have been used in recent years. This follows comments that the streets were becoming too crowded and people wanted more family friendly attractions.

The event will begin with a children’s lantern parade from the River & Rowing Museum in Mill Meadows to the Hot Gossip coffee house in Friday Street. This will be led by live reindeer and shoppers will be able to meet the animals afterwards.

Duke Street, Market Place, Hart Street and part of Bell Street will be closed to traffic and scores of local businesses, charities and community groups will have stalls.

Shops and pubs will be offering seasonal promotions and Father Christmas will greet children in his grotto at the Kenton Theatre in New Street, where families can also meet the cast of the venue’s pantomime Dick Whittington.

Visitors are encouraged to upload video clips of themselves to social media with the hashtag #gofilmapp to be included in a professional video broadcast of the event. The creator of the best clip will win a prize.

There will be storytelling in the town hall from 6pm and at 7pm the town’s Nordmann fir, which is sponsored by Invesco, will be lit up by Mayor Glen Lambert and seven-year-old Freddy Burton, who won this year’s Mayor’s Christmas card design competition.

Pupils from Gillotts School and Rupert House School and users of the d:two centre in Upper Market Place will lead the carol singing from the town hall steps, accompanied by the Woodley Concert Band.

Road closures will be enforced from 3pm to 11pm.

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