Thanet Star stopped into Margate to see Margate Town Team's latest effort to breathe life into the town
Last night saw Margate Old Town, some of the coast and the High Street getting very Christmas-y. Thanet Star were there, enjoying the entertainment, speaking to the shop-keeps, and of course taking plenty of photographs.
When we first got off of the bus and began heading towards the sounds that were clearly coming from the Christmas Night Market, we were greeted by two things. The first, was the unfortunate sound of what seemed to be a very poor karaoke performance, who was actually the live entertainer. Not a good start. The second was a Professor Crump, a wonderfully cheerful street performer who we bumped in to on several occasions throughout the night and he never failed to make us smile.
We ventured further inward past many market stalls, and we assumed that there were very little people showing interest in them due to the early time of the day, but unfortunately, after speaking with a few shop-keeps and stall holders later in the evening, we found that the general consensus was that, though it was a superb idea from Margate Town Team, it was poorly advertised and very few members of the public actually attended, hence the very empty High Street, which is a real shame.
The live music had its “ups and downs” throughout the hours, with some very talented artists, and some who's singing notes left much to be desired, but all were full of life and passion, and when sound was cut off (this happened several times) or timing was missed (again, on several occasions) or a note was faulted, the performers laughed it off and joked, for which I have a huge amount of respect for them. It very much kept with the spirit of the night, and the season.
The highlight of the live music for us was Hartsdown Academy's children's choir who did a lively "Flash-Mob" style dance performance followed by many musical numbers, seen in the photograph atop this article.
We passed several Christmas trees, one of which looked tired and worn and not in the slightest bit “Christmas-y”, another of which looked much healthier and happier. I suppose that variety is the spice of life? I would however have preferred an equal amount of effort to be taken with each tree.
Another “pet hate” for the night was all the Santas! There were at the very least three, by our count, and they were dangerously close together considering the size of the event. It was pointed out to us by more than one parent the concern that they had for if two Santas were seen together, or near to one another, by the children! I suggest that at future events more care be taken with this.
The “Margate On Ice” Ice Rink as organised by local businesses (family-run) Bugsy's Bowling and Kiss Me Quick, was looking very good, but seemed to have little interest. I was impressed by the concept, and the fact that there were staff on-hand to help any youngsters who might be less experienced at skating and needed a helping hand. At £4 for half an hour, however, and very little advertising, I am not surprised about there being few people putting on skates... Another brilliant idea that seems to not be doing as well as it aught.
Over all, it was a very enjoyable night, and I think it was wonderful to see Margate looking so alive. I really wish that the event had been better organised and better advertised, however. I hope to see more events like it in future.
More photographs can be found on our FaceBook Page.