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Great Yarmouth's Christmas shopping season to start with opening of Christmas Fayre and Market this Friday

GREAT Yarmouth's Christmas shopping season starts in truly magical style this Friday (November 29) with the opening of the popular Christmas Fayre and Market in the town centre.

Christmas Fayre and Market opening

Visitors can look forward to a festive extravaganza in the Market Place and Great Yarmouth Minster, with special stalls, food and entertainment across three days, from 10am to 8.30pm on Friday, 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

The historic Market Place will become a winter wonderland with 40 seasonal stalls offering food, drink, arts, crafts and gifts from inside a large marquee and wooden chalets, all covered with beautiful festoon lighting and decorations.

The Christmas Market, organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, will also feature live music courtesy of Harbour Radio, a mini fairground for the kids and free rides on Santa's road train to the Minster.

The Christmas Market is being run in conjunction with the popular Christmas Fayre, organised jointly with Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership and featuring a fantastic selection of craft, food and specialist gift stalls in the historic Minster.

Delights on offer at the Christmas Fayre and Market will include hot spiced apple juice, homemade fudge, cakes, pastries and preserves, speciality breads, gift baskets and cookies, scented decorations, scarfs, handcrafted jewellery, ornaments, toys, other gifts and much more besides.

The Christmas Lights Switch-on celebrations will be on Friday, with an evening of live entertainment starting at 5.30pm. Cllr Michael Jeal, the mayor, and Father Christmas will be joined by elite athlete Sophie McKinna to switch on the festive illuminations at 7pm, followed by a rooftop firework spectacular and late opening of town centre shops and the Christmas Market. 

Hosted by Rob Chandler from The Beach radio, and organised by the Town Centre Partnership, the switch-on event will include performances from the Lardal Kantori Norwegian choir, St George's Theatre panto characters and musician Bill Downs from The Voice and The X Factor.

On Saturday, the Lardal Kantori will give a concert of traditional and modern carols, with a performance starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the Minster or online at 

Shoppers will benefit from free all-day parking every Sunday in town centre surface car parks, from December 1 to 29. 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.

Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "The Christmas Fayre and Market are always hugely popular, marking the start of the festive shopping period in the town centre. This year, the market is going to have that seasonal 'wow factor' thanks to the additional festive lighting and decorations. Entering the marquee to explore the stalls will be like 'walking into Christmas' and will get everyone into the festive spirit."

Town centre manager, Jonathan Newman, of the Town Centre Partnership, said: "The Great Yarmouth Christmas Lights Switch-On, Christmas Fayre and Market provides a lovely festive atmosphere for families to come to town and support their local shops and businesses. All the Christmas attractions will add up to create that truly magical Christmas shopping experience."

The Christmas Market is supported by Go Trade, a cross-Channel project to revitalise traditional markets, which is funded by the EU's Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.


The festive fun continues into December

The festive fun in the town centre will continue into December. Everyone is welcome to the annual Civic Carol Service at the Minster, on Monday, December, 9, this year starting at a new time of 6.30pm. 

Late night shopping in the town centre, ending with a free firework display at 8pm every Wednesday, will be on Wednesday, December 4, Wednesday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 18. 

And come along to the Minster, between Friday, December 6 and Sunday, December 15, to enjoy the Christmas Trees and Cribs decorated by local community groups, schools and businesses. Funds raised at the Tree and Crib Festival will be in aid of the fabric and organ of the Minster.

Then on Wednesday, December 11, at 7pm, people are invited to take part in a Lantern Parade, from the Christchurch area of King Street towards the Minster. To join in, come along to a free lantern-making workshop at Great Yarmouth Library on Saturday, December 7, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Last modified on 18 May 2021

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