reindeer and father xmas 2014Newquay was completely abuzz last weekend as the town kicked off the 2014 Christmas celebrations with a brilliant bang and a plethora of fun family-orientated festivities. The footfall for this key retail week including the Festive Festival was 22% up on previous year with the biggest increase on Friday when a massive 7,000 people were counted passing through the town centre.

The 2014 Festive Festival is co-ordinated by Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) and Newquay Town Council.  Working together, the team has enhanced and enlarged the town’s Christmas activities, making the lantern parade and Christmas Light Switch-On an extra extravaganza for locals and visitors alike.  The 2014 Music & Ale Festival was also a stunning success, bringing thousands of people out throughout the days and evenings and boosting footfall to the Food & Craft Market.

Friday afternoon saw Santa surfing into Newquay with his beautiful reindeers, all ready to meet and greet children at the Victoria Hotel.  Thousands of people, including over 300 local children then witnessed the Christmas Light switch on before leading him with his sleigh through the town, bedecked with a mass of beautiful handmade lanterns.  Thousands of people then lined-up along the coastline to witness the seasonal spectacle of fireworks exploding over the harbour. Friday, Saturday and Sunday also saw the now-annual Music & Ale Festival which brought in key acts such as Willie & The Bandits and The Loose Salute.

Newquay BID Assistant Manager Kate Cortez said, “It’s been the most amazing weekend and it’s so great to see everyone out and about enjoying themselves and making the most of our local retailers and hospitality providers. We’ve got a footfall counter in the main street and we have seen a gradual increase over the last 4 years in the footfall for this event. During the peak of the parade this year, over 4000 people were counted.

Kate continues, “We’ve also had lots of great support and positive feedback from retailers this year and it’s great to see so many of them participating in our initiatives including the Hidden Elf Trail and the Winter Window Competition. We also want to thank the Lions for their support for this event and the hard work that they put in.”

Joe Piwecki, Deputy Town Clerk says “we are really pleased with the switch on this year and want to thank the public for their participation. The teams behind the event worked really hard this year and we look forward to making it even better next year.

Chris Owen, manager of Surfing Life said, “For us the event was really successful.  We stayed open for the late night shopping and really felt the benefits of the additional footfall in the town centre throughout the weekend. It takes time to build an event like this but year-on-year we are seeing this event develop and it’s great for the town and businesses.”

For more information about Newquay’s Christmas programme, people can pick up a copy of the Festive Events Guide which lists details of all local events up until New Year’s Eve. Created by the BID for the fourth year running, 10,000 copies of the guide have been distributed. Copies can be collected from the Tourist Information Centre or downloaded from www.newquaybid.co.uk.