Local singing sensation Matthew Crane - the UK’s youngest classical baritone - captivated the crowds with an hour long performance of classic tunes, before switching on the Christmas tree lights. Matthew, who was the champion of the 2006 BBC talent show ‘Let Me Entertain You’, is pictured below with event organisers Maureen Tong-Ralphs, Linda Perfect and Nancy Waller.
And Matthew wasn’t the only entertainment on offer!
Not only was everyone treated to belly dancing (Yes, belly dancing in December!), there was live music from duo ‘True Blue’ - featuring Grain’s soprano sax playing Parish Council Chairman, and singing local Councillor Chris Irvine (both pictured below).
Chris Irvine with Hoo Parish Councillor Ron Sands
I was in good company for much of the time, wondering around the square with Hoo Parish Councillor Ron Sands (pictured above). Ron is a former wrestler and once had the ‘pleasure’ of going head to head (or should that be belly to belly?!) with the legendary Big Daddy.
Despite the nip in the air, the sun shone brightly across the Village Square and the event was a tremendous success. There were lots of stalls offering local produce, mulled wine, mince pies, cakes and much more besides! I’m a bit of a big kid when it comes to Christmas, and it’s at times like this that I really do wish it were Christmas every day!
I wrestled past a queue of eager children to get a photo of Santa and his helper in Santa’s Grotto. Sorry kids for pushing through to the front - but it was important to get evidence that he is real to prove any doubters wrong!
Santa gave me his assurances that, despite not being at the North Pole to supervise the toy making, all is in hand for the Christmas Eve deliveries.
But Santa wasn’t the only special guest. We were joined by royalty too!
It was good to be able to chat with John and Peggy Scott who, although from Hoo, are the Pearly King and Queen of Highgate. John and Peggy have spent 40 years fundraising for good causes and charities and were delighted to be on hand to support the Anim-Mates Animal Sanctuary (based in St. Mary Hoo), as well as the whole Christmas Fayre.
Despite getting bitterly cold towards late afternoon, everyone had a great time catching up with friends and enjoying some good old fashioned festive spirit!