Despite the wintery weather at the weekend [5 & 6 December] the new Winter Fair at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex worked its magic and was hailed a great success attracting nearly 8,000 visitors.

Food and drink remained at the heart of the event with an expanded gift and greeting area and a tantalising new Artisan & Street Food Market, run by the successful team at Food Rocks, offering delicious treats appealing to families and foodies alike.

Said Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, “We changed the format of the show to make it a much more family friendly event with new content and expanded exhibition floor space as well as extending our pricing policy which allows children under 16 free entry to all our shows.

“We are absolutely delighted that so many families came along to join our traditional visitors and enjoy the festive fun and entertainment throughout the weekend.  It was wonderful to see so many children meeting the very cute real life reindeers who were only 18 months old and visiting Santa’s grotto. We are looking forward to making further improvements and expanding it even more for 2016.”

The large shopping marquee and other buildings at the showground provided ample protection from wind and rain and crowds were entertained by a stunning ice queen on stilts who spread fairy dust everywhere she went with Matt Pang and Dan the Hat as well as music from the Bug Bar DJ and 1920s, 30s and 40s tunes from Harry’s Tricks, helping everyone to get in the mood for Christmas.

The atmosphere was fun and welcoming with visitors choosing to escape the hassles of the high street and instead relax in a magical winter retreat taking time to soak up the festive spirit, eat delicious food and choose from a vast array of unusual gifts and stocking fillers.

For further information on all the shows and events for 2016 visit

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