Bury St Edmunds Festive fayre expected to bring thousands to town this weekend

Last year's Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Last year's Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre - Credit: Archant

The final preparations are being made in Bury St Edmunds ahead of an influx of thousands of people who are arriving for the town’s annual Christmas extravaganza.

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre - Credit: Archant

Now in its 11th year, the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre has gained a reputation for being one of the most popular festive markets in the country. It starts on Thursday at 4pm with an evening aimed at locals and continues through to Sunday, closing at 5pm.

The event, which takes places at different locations around the town centre, includes more than 300 stalls, two main stages showcasing entertainment, free children’s activities, real reindeer and Santa’s grotto and post office.

Christmas Fayre organiser Sharon Fairweather said: “It’s all starting to build up now and we are starting to get bits and pieces in the Abbey Gardens.

“Thursday evening is the big kick-off; there are fireworks at 7.45pm in the Abbey Gardens and people will be able to see them from the gardens and Angel Hill. Before that at 5.30pm schoolchildren will parade from the Arc and down Abbeygate Street to Angel Hill.”

She encouraged the community to turn out on Thursday evening, adding the funfair rides will be half-price.

She said: “It’s before the coaches descend on us so it’s a great time to look around the stalls while it’s not so busy.”

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Miss Fairweather believes last year about 120,000 people came to the event. In terms of what makes it so popular, she puts it down to the combination of a great market and great entertainment.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere and the start of Christmas really,” she said. “We are just hoping for good weather and keeping our fingers crossed.”

The town’s regular Wednesday and Saturday market join with extra markets on Friday and Sunday, and on Saturday in the Buttermarket the Salvation Army will perform traditional Christmas music.

Sunday is a more relaxed day and there will be a local farmers’ market in the Buttermarket and a mini-farm for children. The day will finish with a short service from Churches Together on Angel Hill.

Parking options include a park and ride service off the A14 at Saxham Business Park, a free park and walk from Olding Road on Saturday and Sunday and the Greene King car park will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

For full details visit www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.ukFor more on Christmas shopping hours in Bury St Edmunds, see our guide here