STORES in Evesham are throwing their doors open tonight and all day on Sunday to help last-minute Christmas shoppers.

Tonight there will be another late-night shopping event, with many of the town’s stores staying open until 7.30pm to give everyone the perfect chance to visit the town under its sparkling festive lights.

Some of those taking place include Bonk, Forget me Knot and the Card Factory.

They have also been encouraging people to come into the town all week.

Kim Dunn, owner of High Street skate, scooter and clothing shop Bonk got into the Christmas party spirit over the weekend by persuading some of its younger customers to dress up as puppy dogs.

She adopted a 101 Dalmatians theme party atmosphere to encourage people into her shop with music, discounts and free drinks and even took the part of Cruella de Vil.

She said: “With all the issues in town we thought we should cheer things up and have some fun.

“My young customers deserve the credit for entering in to the spirit of the day. I like to support them throughout the year and they returned the favour by volunteering and joining in the party.

“I want to thank all my lovely loyal customers for their ongoing support through these challenging times. The weekend showed there’s still a great Evesham spirit. We all want Evesham to be great again.”

There will be similar offers in the Bonk shop in the High Street on Saturday.

They are also one of the outlets planning to open on Sunday.

The St Richard’s Hospice charity shop in the High Street is just one of the stores opening from 10am until 4pm.

In a run-up to Christmas the charity shop has lots of festive bargains, including retro consoles and games and more than 7,000 books, from obscure crime and scifi to collectables and many excellent reads.

Anyone looking to spruce up their festive wardrobe can dip into the vintage and retro clothing section or the ‘gold collection’ of high end and designer ex-agency stock.

Visitors can park for 20p all day long in the long car parks in the town, 20p for three hours in the short stay car parks and for 50p in the Riverside Centre.

A special charter market featuring up to 30 stalls and an inflatable children’s water attraction will be making an appearance in the Market Square and in the High Street from tomorrow until Christmas Eve.

Organiser Joseph Jones is arranging the market, in what will be another initiative to help attract shoppers into Evesham town centre.

Charter markets are held where a town or borough holds a Royal Charter. A smaller market has been a regular feature in the town on Saturdays.

While full details of the inflatable water attraction are being kept under wraps until its appearance, Mr Jones has confirmed that he hopes to have about 18 to 30 market stalls, depending on the weather, selling specialist foods including fudge, crepes and candy floss, and craft and market goods.

Entertainment will include music and a tribal belly dancing performance from Worcestershire-based Belly Fusion.

Welcoming the charter market, Evesham mayor Councillor Mark Goodge said: “With the extended bridge closure we hope the addition of the charter market just before Christmas will help boost trade in the town.

“The children’s attraction should be especially appealing to families coming into Evesham as the schools break up for the festive period.

We can’t wait to see it unveiled.”