Christmas shopping season to start with opening of Christmas Fayre in Great Yarmouth
THE Christmas shopping season in Great Yarmouth will start in truly magical style with the opening of the popular Christmas Fayre in the town centre on Friday, November 30.
The three-day festive extravaganza will attract thousands of families to enjoy festive food, stalls and entertainment in the Market Square, Great Yarmouth Minster and Priory Centre, from 10am to 8pm on Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
Organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council with Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, the fayre will also include the first of four Christmas Market weekends, with a wide range of traders offering delightful food, drink, arts, crafts and gifts from beautifully-decorated wooden chalets and gazebos in the historic Market Square.
Cllr Mary Coleman, the mayor, will kick-start the festivities on Friday at 10am when she will travel by Santa's road train to the official opening ceremony at the Minster, heralded by a short performance from the Norwegian Lardal Kantori choir.
The first day of the fayre will include the arrival of Father Christmas and the Christmas Lights Switch-on with free fireworks, hosted by The Beach radio station. Entertainment is scheduled to start at 5pm, with the big switch-on at 7pm followed by fireworks and an animated projection. Shops will open until 8pm.
Over the three days, there will be live music (see below), plus street entertainment and an animated projection onto a building. The Market Place will also have a small fairground and extra Christmas lighting and trees.
In addition to the special Christmas Market stalls in the Market Square, the Minster and the Priory Centre will be filled with stalls offering handcrafted gifts and tasty treats, with the Priory Centre also hosting Santa's Grotto.
On Saturday, Santa's Post Office will open in the Market Square for the first time, opening at weekends, 11am to 3pm, and then daily from December 19 to 23. That evening will also see the popular annual concert by the Lardal Kantori in the Minster at 7.30pm.
Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "Our Christmas Fayre is a popular seasonal tradition, marking the start of the festive shopping season and bringing hundreds of extra families into the town centre at an important time for retailers.
"This year, the fayre boasts another great range of festive stalls and entertainment, including the first of four Christmas Market weekends, complementing the year-round offering in the town centre. I look forward to seeing people enjoying themselves and starting their Christmas shopping in Great Yarmouth this week."
Town centre manager Jonathan Newman, of the Town Centre Partnership, said: "The Great Yarmouth Christmas Lights Switch-On and Christmas Fayre weekend provides a lovely festive atmosphere for families to come to town and support their local shops and businesses. The festive entertainment, the new wooden chalets, the free Santa's Post Office and free Christmas road train along with the biggest selection of unique handcraft, gift and food stalls ever seen in Great Yarmouth Minster and Priory Centre will make for a truly fantastic weekend in the town centre."
There will be free all-day parking every Sunday in council-run town centre surface car parks from December 2 to 30. Parking remains free in most town centre surface car parks every weekday from 4pm, and free from noon on Wednesdays, at King Street, Brewery Plain and George Street.
Further Christmas Markets will be held from December 7 to 9, December 14 to 16 and December 21 to 23, all from 9am to 4pm, Friday to Sunday. These will include magical street entertainment from SeaChange Arts, including a snow machine and ice sculpture display. Late night shopping in the town centre will be on Wednesday, December 19, Thursday, December 20 and Friday, December 21, with shops open until 9pm.
Discover more at www.gychristmasmarket.co.uk