WORCESTER'S annual Victorian Christmas Fayre returns today with a host of activities, food and drink and entertainment on offer.

Now in its 27th year, the festival features a record number of food and drink producers hoping to showcase their wares.

Vendors include Feast StrEat, Chesters Restaurant and the Gwatkins Cider Company, who will be on hand with mulled cider and wine.

Helen Mole, Worcester City Council's events organiser, said: "Worcester’s Victorian Fayre is one of the highlights of the Midlands' festive calendar, and with all sorts of culinary delights available, you definitely won’t be leaving hungry.

“Coming to the Fayre is a great way to support local businesses, as a huge number will be selling food, drink and unique handmade gifts this year.”

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The Fayre will be officially opened at 4.45 today by Mayor of Worcester Allah Ditta and runs until Sunday, December 1.

There will be a host of fun activities and entertainment including the stilt walkers, Gin Lane, buskers on every corner and live music dotted around the city centre.

November 30 will see the return of the Hopmarket Fringe event, which will include lantern making, face painting, Christmas arts and crafts, a pop up art gallery and live entertainment.

Bill Simpson, trustee at The Hopmarket Charity said: "As an independent shopping courtyard in the heart of our community, such events are hugely important to us, bringing residents, visitors and shop tenants together."