THOUSANDS of people celebrated  the “best ever” Christmas Festival with a special appearance by a Taskmaster celebrity in Amersham. 

The festival and market was opened by Sarah Green MP, followd by musical entertainment by Amersham A Cappella, Amersham Band, Rebecca Vere, Dr Challoner's Grammar School rock bands and Brass Ensemble, carols by Heatherton Singers and Chiltern Voice community radio broadcast before a humorous Christmas light switch-on by Channel 4’s Taskmaster Alex Horne. 

Thanks to the efforts of the volunteer organisers Amersham Action Group (AAG) and more than 2,000 visitors, the festival on Sycamore Road raised around £3,000 for the Chiltern Foodbank and Chiltern Toy Bank on Saturday (December 3). 

Chair of AAG Jane Barnes said: “This year's Amersham Christmas Festival was probably the best ever and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves, but also seeing all the shops busy with people shopping and eating locally."

Jane gave a "special thanks" to the title sponsor The Entertainer, who also donated toys for Santa's Grotto, and the partner sponsors Specsavers, Jewson, J Brown Funeral Services and Lennons Solicitors.

She added: “This was a community event, run by volunteers from the community so my last thanks are to all of the volunteers who through a lot of hard work and commitment made this day a great success.”

Other local businesses donated 24 raffle prizes, helped with storage, equipment and printing, and around 60 traders and charities hosted stalls at the indoor and outdoor market. 

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