CROWDS turned out for this year's Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre.

Although no official numbers have yet been released, the city council said the numbers of visitors had gone up from last year and pictures show throngs of people in the city's High Street.

Ruth Smith, manager of Worcester Tourist Information Centre, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled on how many people came, although we don’t have the exact numbers yet. It’s the biggest event for the city each year and the same stall holders come back year after year from all over the county.

“Hotels tend to get booked afterwards as people see what a beautiful place Worcester is and want to spend more time here.

“We also notice an increase in coach trips to the city from the Midlands as a result of the publicity generated.”

Sharon Smith, CEO of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It has become a key date for small businesses and helps to position and support them within the region. With visitors travelling from far and wide to come and enjoy the fayre, it widens the market for these businesses and helps them to get their brand exposed regionally, nationally and sometimes even to international visitors.

“It’s incredible to see that traditions such as the Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre are still so vital and important in a market that is changing almost daily.”

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On the Facebook page of the Worcester News, Janette White said: “I think it was great and fab for business for the independent retailers who need a boost this time of year.”

Danny Bullock said: “Really enjoyed it and kids loved it. The food stalls were brilliant, bought some amazing cheeses and pies.

“It was fantastic for Worcester and local businesses alike.”

However, not everyone agreed. Alice Johnson said: “It was too busy - you couldn’t move, getting walked into constantly.

“I won’t be going again. Taken 10 mins to walk a minute walk with people stopping in middle of the street.”

Stephen Edwards said: “Worst one I have been to and I have been coming for years. It felt a bit disconnected, but it brings in trade and shines a light on Worcester, so rough with the smooth.”