THE Wells Rotary Reindeer Parade is over for another year and I would like to use your paper to express our thanks to a number of people.
Firstly, who says young people do not help in the community? More than 20 young people turned out to help us to collect for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance on Sunday: Young Farmers, Cathedral School pupils and the Wells Youth Club (Connect).
We were also helped with marshalling by Avalon Rotary members and The Globe Carnival Club.
Those involved in the parade itself and performers on the stage during the day were also vital to the success of the day, and we thank them for participating.
We are also grateful for the presence of St John Ambulance who very fortunately had absolutely nothing to do. The many stall-holders provided festive gifts for families to buy and the ever-popular pony and trap was a source of enjoyment for all ages. Other sources of fun were the roundabout, fire engine, the Swan Hotel Grotto and the Christmas Tree Festival in St Cuthbert's Church. We hope that the shops and cafes benefited from the influx of people, because that was and still is one of the main aims of the event. We thank them all for enhancing the day.
The art and poetry competitions which were run for primary school children attracted 450 entries from six schools and the four winners enjoyed taking part in the parade and receiving wonderful prizes. We are indebted to Wookey Hole caves for providing the winners with an overnight stay for each family in their hotel, together with a day at Santa Land and the Swan Hotel for their Christmas gift.
We thank the teachers in the schools who enabled the children to take part and ensured the entries were delivered on time. Our independent judges had a difficult task and we thank them for their time and effort.
Of course the event itself could not have taken place without the financial support of our sponsors and advertisers. Last year we only just broke even and so there was likelihood that the parade would not take place. With the help of contributions from the Swans of Wells fund, Wells City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, private individuals and businesses in and around Wells we will have a healthier balance this year.
Lastly, we would like to thank you the public for attending this event in such large numbers. We were amazed but delighted at the turnout again this year. We were of course pleased that the reindeer in particular produced so many happy faces, because in welcoming these beautiful animals from the Cairngorms, we are also helping to preserve the only free running herd in Britain.
Members of Wells Rotary Club and their families wish you all a very happy Christmas.
Wells Rotary reindeer committee chairman