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On Thursday and Friday of Week Nine, Christmas Festival came to Lancaster University. Organised by the Students’ Union and situated from Fylde Quad to the Bonnington Steps, there was a range of festivities from reindeer and mulled wine to live music and jewellery, as well as fake snow to create the effect of a white Christmas. The stalls and activities were open to all students, staff and local visitors.
The Helter Skelter slide was a popular attraction to many, as eager students said it was worth queuing, free of charge, for the experience.
The tents held a range of treats, from handmade jewellery from Marmalade Forest to displaying a greener Christmas. Although various stallholders said business had started slowly, the number of visitors attracted had grown by darkness, as the Lancaster University Brass Band began to play live music to add to the Christmas atmosphere. Popular carols were sung such as Once in Royal David’s City, and there was a Christmas Extravaganza show from 5pm on Friday. The show featured performances from LUGlee, Lancaster’s Glee Society and from the University’s Dance Society.
The most popular stalls seemed to be the handmade chocolates with free tasters of fudge, chocolate and chocolate lollipops; the reindeer, with the opportunity to have a photo taken for £5 drawing a large crowd; and the mulled wine where a non-alcoholic spiced apple or amaretto shot could be added for £3.50.
There was also a Santa’s grotto opposite Fylde Bar. The presents offered to those keen to enter the Grotto included selection boxes and free entry to Sugarhouse before midnight on the Friday of Week 10, as well as information on how to gain free entry and a hoodie with the Sugarmouse.
Whilst a few students felt there could have been more to look at, the general reception was fairly positive, with many enjoying the atmosphere of Christmas Fest 2010.
The two day event was organised by Lancaster University Students’ Union. Although there was one member of staff who centrally coordinated the event, a number of student volunteers were taken on to help organised the various different groups involved. A number of students also had stalls at the market.