Harrogate's business leaders look forward to a festive bonanza after new Christmas Fayre is announced
Harrogate business leaders have welcomed the town's festive plans to replace the Christmas Market saying they will offer shoppers "plenty of reasons to venture into the town centre".
Under new plans led by Harrogate Borough Council, a new Harrogate Christmas Fayre will take place in the heart of Harrogate's main shopping streets in December.
The new fayre, which is the result of a partnership between the council and Market Place Europe – the UK’s leading and award-winning Christmas market operator - is the key part of a whole programme of family-friendly activities and features to transform the the town centre and bring footfall into the shops in the run-up to Christmas.
The new-look festive celebrations in Harrogate's retail sector are the work of many of the town's leading bodies and follow Harrogate council's decision earlier this year to refuse a licence for the usual Harrogate Christmas Market on Montpellier Hill after a decade of success there because of the advice it received from emergency services in North Yorkshire about perceived weaknesses of the site in terms of counter-terrorism security and Covid safety.
The Harrogate Christmas Fayre will be open between the hours of 10am and 7pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am and 9pm Thursday to Saturday, and 10am and 4.30pm on Sunday.
The market will take place on Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent.
Around 50 traders from Yorkshire, the UK as well as those from countries across Europe, will be welcoming visitors with the layout of stalls designed to support existing high street businesses and attract footfall into town.
A festive artisan market will also be held in the Valley Gardens on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5 featuring approximately 60 local and regional traders and producers who will sell a variety of festive arts and crafts, clothing, homeware, jewellery, as well as serving up plenty of delicious food and drink.
A festive road train will travel around the town centre from Friday, December 3 until Sunday, December 12 to ensure people don’t miss out on what the town centre has to offer - whether that’s the Harrogate Christmas Fayre, the artisan market in the Valley Gardens or a new magical window trail.
Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce President Martin Gerrard said: “I would like to congratulate the various organisations that have clearly worked very hard to ensure Harrogate really will be a winter wonderland this Christmas.
“For many of our members, November and December are their key trading months, and I’m sure they too will be impressed by what is being proposed, in particular that the events and attractions are being staged over various dates and in numerous different locations.”
Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson said: “We are genuinely excited by Destination Harrogate’ and what it will be delivering in terms of events and attractions this festive season.
“Harrogate BID has been working closely with Harrogate Borough Council and Visit Harrogate to ensure the run up to Christmas will be like no other.
"It will give residents and visitors plenty of reasons to venture into the town on more than one occasion.
“And in addition to the attractions that we are co-funding, the Ferris Wheel, road train, carousel and helter skelter, we have just announced our Harrogate Father Experience, meaning that children will be able to visit Santa in his grotto, something they were denied last year by Covid.
“The Christmas lights, again powered by Harrogate BID, will spring into life after Remembrance Sunday, and will cover a larger area than last year. And finally, we are again partnering with Harrogate Rotary Club for their annual Christmas Shop Window competition.”
Shop owner Sue Kramer of Commercial Street Retailers Group said: "In the absence of the previous Christmas Market, which was so successful at putting Harrogate on the map, with the Christmas Fayre being in the town centre, we look forward to welcoming additional visitors to our street as well.
"The variety of attractions on offer, such as the Ferris wheel, is tremendously exciting, and we will be making sure the Christmas offering from our Commercial Street community is better than ever this year, too."