Shops getting residents into the party mood

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South Holland is becoming a district of party animals.

If residents are not dressing up for 80s and 90s parties or hen nights, they are off to masquerade balls and murder mystery evenings.

As the festival season gets into full swing, it’s giving the owners of joke shops in Spalding and Donington plenty to laugh about.

Partner Gary Parkinson and his wife, Sarah, started Parkys Pranks in The Crescent, Spalding, two years ago and have just opened a second shop in Donington Market Place.

Gary said: “When I decided to open the shop in Spalding everyone was down because of the recession.

“We wanted to do something to bring some fun back into the world.”

Fancy dress is popular at the shops, which also sell jokes, gifts, gadgets and magic. Although there is a website – – at the moment it is just to promote the businesses.

However, Gary thinks it hasn’t held him back. He said: “Customers come and see me from as far away as Peterborough and Lincoln because they like customer service.

“You don’t get the personal touch online.

“My customers know that if I don’t have something in stock I’ll try to get it from them.”

The shop in Spalding is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and the one in Donington on Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 6pm.