New Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza chairman wants to take event back to its roots


James Wilde

THE new chairman of Llandudno Extravaganza wants to take the event back to its roots.

Chris Williams, who took over the position in December, is aiming to increase the Victorian environment of the annual three day May bank holiday event which was founded in 1986.

This year's event had a variety of attractions throughout the town including entertainment on the community stage, live bands and steam engines.

Mr Williams wants more of a Victorian feel by having more sideshows, steam trains and lawn games and the introducing a market place.

Mr Williams said: “At the minute the Extravaganza does have too much fairground. I want that side to be reduced and make the Victorian side stand out more.

“Next year I want to see more Victorian lawn games, a Victorian school house and a Penny Lane market place filled with charity stalls. I plan to discuss this with the Extravaganza committee.

“If shops in Llandudno want to get involved in the market, I would welcome that.”

This year’s Extravaganza, which attracted thousands of visitors, faced criticism from Morgan Austin, owner of upper Mostyn Street business Johnny Dough’s. He said the effort past the Mersey roundabout was “below par.”

Mr Austin said: “I believe past the Mersey roundabout the effort was below par.
“Two of the rides closed after the first day as trade was slow. There was a huge lorry outside my business and also one outside Providero coffee shop which didn't help us at all.

“The weekend’s takings for me were down dramatically on the weekend prior. I increased my stock and staffing levels believing that we would be exceptionally busy, but this was not to be.

“The Extravaganza needs a rethink.”

Mr Williams has spoken to businesses about the event and said he has taken their concerns onboard.

“Upper Mostyn Street has always been a difficult place for us, because of the gradient, certain rides can’t go up there. We did try music up there one year, but unfortunately we had complaints from residents so it stopped.

“Coming into the role as chairman in December it was difficult, we didn’t have a lot of time to plan.

“With next year’s Extravaganza I want to make events better structured. I want a plan of where rides are going to be by December.

“I then want to invite businesses in and talk to them about the plan. I want to get rid of things like generators covering the front of businesses, I want less of that.” Mr Williams added.

Mr Williams, who is married to wife Claire and has children Harry, aged two and Emma, aged five, first went to the Extravaganza when he was three years old and has performed at the event as Harley the Clown.

He said: “I’ve grown up in the area, I know the history of the event. I want better priced rides for children and I want families and businesses to equally benefit. I want everyone on the same page.”

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