Panto star to switch on Christmas lights in Wymondham

Wymondham will be holding a Christmas Fair with a difference this year, Steampunk will be the theme

Wymondham will be holding a Christmas Fair with a difference this year, Steampunk will be the theme to the popular event.John Wilde (kilt bowler hat) Margaret Wilde (shawl and goggles) Pete Green (top hat and yellow scarf) Penelope Hubble (safari hat and blue flower) - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A popular Christmas fayre will move forward in time with a new theme when it returns later this year after being rescued from closure.

The newly-titled Wymondham Dickensian Steampunk Fayre will move away from its tradi- tional Dickensian character, to launch in November under the new guise.

The town will even welcome a celebrity to carry out the most important job on the day – when pantomime star Richard Gauntlett, who will be appearing in this year's production of Cinderella at Norwich's Theatre Royal as Buttons, switches on the Christmas lights.

The futuristic steampunk theme typically features steam-powered machinery and is set in the Victorian-era. The trend sees men wear tailored suits, top hats and black goggles while women wear gothic dresses with textures including lace and velvet.

Organiser Michelle Fernandes said: 'It is the first year we have got a celebrity to switch the lights on. The steampunk theme will make this year's event totally different. The fayre had got a little bit tired and people were fed up.'

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The future of the festive event was under threat and, earlier this year, Wymondham Lions called an emergency meeting where a new committee was formed.

Artistic director Pete Green said: 'I said if we are going to continue it, we need to make it the best event of its kind in the country.

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'We have put a lot of energy into it. Steampunk is nothing new. It's about taking the best from the Victorian era – politeness, being nice to each other and people being splendid.'

Mr Green said the theme could often be seen in Doctor Who, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Olympics opening ceremony.

'You could see the steam machines pumping,' he added. 'I know there's a lot of excitement for this event in the town.'

The event is on Saturday, November 30, from 2pm to 6pm. Anyone wishing to volunteer on the day should email

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