A teenage singing sensation entertained crowds at Accrington Town Hall’s first ever wedding fayre fresh from an appearance on BBC One’s The Voice.
Harris Hameed, 17, made a surprise guest turn at the fayre which celebrated a full refurbishment of the Town Hall’s Ballroom to become East Lancashire’s newest wedding reception venue.
The teenager from Leeds, who is still in contact with the BBC talent show’s star judge will.i.am, said it was a fantastic event and he was delighted to be able to perform.
The wedding fayre saw more than 500 people flock to the Town Hall to see the revamped facilities, including two new bars, a fully sprung dancefloor and colour effect lighting.
They sampled food, favours and more from 26 exhibitors from across the region – including the Mitali Restaurant, who stepped in at the last minute to supply halal food after another caterer was forced to drop out due to an emergency.
Charlotte Edmondson from Huncoat queued from 8.30am to be the first to bag £500 off her wedding reception after hearing on Facebook that the first 10 bookings on the day would receive an exclusive discount.
She is engaged to marry Ashley Lockley who is due to travel to Cyprus with the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Andrea Carol from Cake of Dreams said: “It’s been very well attended, we’ve had a lot of enquiries and some sales too – the best fayre we’ve ever been to!”
Nabila Anwar from Bee’s Boutique, the Asian bridal wear specialist who sponsored the event and organised one of two catwalk shows, said: “What an amazing event! Very well organised. The turnout was fantastic and we’ve had four orders.”
The fayre’s Hollywood meets Bollywood theme saw a second fashion show courtesy of Accrington bridal shop Anne Whittaker.
Other performers at the event included Accrington acoustic singer Alex Birtwell – who also compered the event – Bollywood artist Kiran and swing singer Josh Hindle.
Kerry Smith, Cultural Services Manager at Hyndburn Leisure, said: “The fayre was a lovely mix of English and Asian fusion – everybody left with a smile on their faces.”
Graham Jones, MP for Hyndburn, said: “The point of the refurbishment was to make the prestigious Town Hall more appealing to the public and this wonderful event proved we’ve achieved that.”
The Mayor of Hyndburn, Cllr Munsif Dad said: “The Ballroom has been refurbished to a very high standard and this wonderful event saw businesses coming together to encourage local people to use local suppliers. It’s the ideal venue for weddings and special occasions.”
Julie O’Hara from Barbara Kay’s, one of the event exhibitors, said: “It’s great for Accrington to see the Town Hall come to life once again and two cultures coming together. This puts Accrington on the weddings map for the future. It was one of the first Asian catwalk shows I’d seen and it was just wonderful.”
Louise Woodcock, sales manager at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel said: “This venue is fantastic. It’s great to have healthy competition locally and we can support each other by providing accommodation to couples who book their wedding receptions here.”
Jim Saron from Bailey’s Menswear and vice president of the Hyndburn Chamber of Trade said: “For a first time event it was very good indeed – a beautiful building and a great turnout of more than 500 people attending.”
The wedding fayre was organised by marketing agency Scott Dawson Advertising, who have also produced a brochure to promote The Ballroom as a wedding venue.
Murray Dawson, managing director of Scott Dawson Advertising, said: “The fayre was a great team effort from SDA, a lot of people worked hard to make sure everything ran smoothly and everyone got the most from it. We’ll be organising other events in Accrington throughout this year to continue to boost civic pride.”
Exhibitors showcased flowers, vintage cars, cakes, table dressings, footwear, catering, stationery, accommodation, henna hand painting, entertainment and photography.