THE organisers of a popular and long-running Christmas fair have warned that this year’s event could well be the last, because of a shortage of volunteers.

Magor’s Frost Fayre has been a fixture in the local festive calendar for around 35 years, but several of the event’s loyal volunteers are stepping down from their duties, leaving the event’s future uncertain.

In a Facebook post shortly before this year’s Frost Fayre, which took place on Saturday, December 8, organisers Magor Events Group – Churchmen said: “It’s not a decision we take lightly but the fact is if we don’t get some new faces to learn the ropes, the Frost & May Fayre[s] will cease to exist.”

The free-to-attend Frost Fayres are popular events with a variety of stalls, musical entertainment, and guest acts. There is also a Santa’s grotto for the younger attendees, and a selection of hot food and drinks.

Proceeds from the Frost Fayres are donated to charities and other good causes.

The organisers are now looking for a new generation of volunteers to help out with future events, and have suggested that a decision on whether or not the village will host a Frost Fayre in 2019 could be made in May.

The chairman of the organising group, Richard Waller, said it was understandable why some of the event’s veteran volunteers were beginning to step down.

“The event has been going for around 35 years, and a lot of the people who started it were in their 30s and 40s then, and they’re still volunteering now.”

Mr Waller said the daily duties could last 12 hours, and included setting up the stalls, running them during the event, and taking them down again in the night.

“We’re looking for volunteers to come and put the stalls out and put them away,” he said. “We need some people who are fit enough – they don’t necessarily need to commit themselves to 12 hours of work.”

Ideally, he said, the group is looking for a dozen new volunteers if the event is to carry on in future years.

Local county councillor Lisa Dymock (Conservative, The Elms) said she hoped the “enormously successful” event could be saved.

“The Frost Fayre is an enjoyable evening for everyone, I am deeply saddened to hear it could potentially be their last,” she said.

“This year, despite rain and wind, it did not disappoint, and there really was a sense of a strong community when I was there.

Cllr Dymock added: “We have many talented residents in Magor and Undy that the event could benefit from, [and] I would like to see more of our younger residents get involved.

“Volunteering helps people gain a sense of personal satisfaction, and I am sure we can continue for many more years this enormously successful community event.”

County councillor Frances Taylor (Independent, Mill ward) said it would be a "terrible loss for our community" if the event disappeared.

"I know so many people value them, they bring so many people out" she said.

"I hope people will come together before it's too late.

"The organisers have been fantastic – some of them have been running the fayres for 35 years – but the local community has grown five-fold since the start of the Frost Fayre, and it seems people are too busy with their modern lives [to give their time].

"There are more than 6,000 people in Magor and Undy – how amazing would it be if everyone could give one hour to help out?"