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Stafford Walking Street returns to county town today

Last month's Stafford Walking Street brought in nearly 10,000 visitors to the town centre according to organisers

Stafford's first Walking Street event was a big success say organisers ahead of the second one which takes place today.

According to the people behind it, visitors and resident got behind last month’s Stafford Walking Street with nearly 10,000 attending.

Today (October 10) it's taking place again, with even more street food stands, mobile bars and retail stalls lining the Market Square and Greengate Street.

The organisers have added a ‘Health and Well being Street' within in the Guildhall Shopping Centre, which will also host a selection of free taster sessions from baby ballet to Argentinean Tango, street dance for all ages, yoga and Stafford WORD.

Many of the shops within the Guildhall will also be staying open for late night shopping as well.

According to the organisers the 'Walking Street' concept comes from Thailand where they block off several streets usually on a Saturday or Sunday evening and everyone meets up, socialises, eat and drink and walk up in the pedestrianised area browsing

Town centre pubs are fully behind the event, and organisers say they saw an increase in their sales with many having entertainment or offers on to coincide with the Walking Street, and some of the High street retailers such as Waterstone's and Clinton's will stay open late. 

Organiser Lorraine Conkey said: “The atmosphere at the first Walking Street was fantastic and the weather was great.

"We have exciting plans for future Stafford Walking Streets, with an addition this month of the Health and Well being Street within the Guildhall, in November an Indian Walking Street in Crabberry Street will celebrate diverse culture from food to dance, spices to music.

"The December event with the run up to Christmas is already in the planning enquiries to take part in the Walking Streets are coming in each day thick and fast.

"We are delighted that the Shirehall will be opening its doors between 5 pm and 7pm to have a look around , the free tickets for 2 sets of guided tours were taken within a couple of hours of being released. 

"The Ancient High house will be having free tours and giving visitors the opportunity to dress in Tudor costumes for that great photo opportunity.

"We have an amazing  line up in the Market Square, starting at 3 pm with Town Crier Peter Taunton officially opening the event followed by live music from Neil Mason , Annie Mai, Front Room Sound and finishing off at 9 pm with reggae band DemenNus and the Harmzouse Band.

"There will also be demonstrations by Dance Nuvo, Bollywood BombayJam and Stafford School of Dance with a snippet of their upcoming production at the Gatehouse of The Story of Cinderella in November. Something for all ages and tastes so come and join us."

The organisers say they have also listened to feedback from September's event and have made sure there are catering offers for vegans and vegetarians among the 20 food vendors due to pitch up later.

A further two Walking Street events are planned for this year (November and December), before taking a break over the winter. 

The first event of 2020 is scheduled to take place in April.

For more information on tonight's, and future Walking Street events, click here.

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