Countdown to Christmas Market opening

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Just one week remains before the festive season officially begins in Harrogate.

Next Thursday, November 19, will see the start of Harrogate Christmas Market, as well as the Big Switch-On of the town’s Christmas lights.

The day starts at 10am, when Santa arrives on his sleigh ready to cut the ribbon with the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Nigel Simms, and officially open Harrogate Christmas Market on St Mary’s Walk.

Six hours later, the pair will be back together at the Victoria Shopping Centre piazza, with live music and entertainment from 4pm before the lights are switched on at 6pm.

There will then be a short carol service, open to all, at St Peter’s Church in Cambridge Street. Harrogate Christmas Market will be open daily from 10am to 8pm until Sunday, November 22, when it closes at 5pm.

Coun John Fox, who is chairman of both teams, said: “Having both the opening of the Christmas Market and the Big Switch-On on the same day means it really will feel like the start of the festive season in Harrogate.

“Although many of our local shops already have their Christmas gifts on sale, and our hotels and restaurants have been advertising their festive menus for some time, it’s only when those lights get switched on that we all really start to feel festive.

“Being at the bottom of Montpellier Hill and surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights, Harrogate Christmas Market is the perfect place to visit to get into the Christmas spirit.”

The market and the lights, both run by teams of volunteers, aim to support local businesses by bringing more people in to the town centre at a vital time of year for Harrogate’s economy.