Ferrets, living statues and masses of market stalls in store at Melton Victorian Christmas Fayre

Staff from Melton Cheeseboard tempt customers with tasty samples at the Melton Victorian Christmas Fayre in 2013 - PICTURE: Tim Williams EMN-151113-121546001
Staff from Melton Cheeseboard tempt customers with tasty samples at the Melton Victorian Christmas Fayre in 2013 - PICTURE: Tim Williams EMN-151113-121546001
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Ferret racing, stunning living statues and a town centre packed with more market stalls than ever before are in store for visitors to this year’s award-winning Melton Victorian Christmas Fayre.

For the first time the event will run over three days - from Friday December 4 to Sunday December 6 - instead of the usual one.

Market traders and shopkeepers will again be dressed in period costumes and there will be several new attractions to delight the expected 20,000 crowds.

Living statues of Jack Frost and a steam pump lady will be on display on both the Saturday and Sunday while there will be plenty of family fun provided by a programme of ferret races.

The fayre will also feature the usual mix of street urchins, stilt walkers, a Punch and Judy show and brass bands.

Main organiser Ruth Wakeling said: “We will have market stalls covering a lot of the town centre - Melton won’t have seen anything like this for a long time.

“We’ll have stalls right down the bottom of Nottingham Street, down High Street and right across Market Place.

“We’re also hoping as many traders as possible in the shops will join the market traders in wearing Victorian clothing.”

The quality of the event was illustrated when it won a gold award and named ‘tourism event of the year’ in the Leicester and Leicestershire Excellence in Tourism Awards 2015, which were announced earlier this month.