Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre replaced by series of festive events

The start of Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016

The start of Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre in 2016 - Credit: Archant

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre is set to be replaced by five days of festive events.

It has been announced that a new Christmas in Bury St Edmunds Partnership has been set up to plan, deliver and pay for the festivities, which will include a range of entertainment and bespoke themed markets and activities. 

The five days of Christmas events, being held from November 23 to 27, take over from the former Christmas Fayre, which was run by West Suffolk Council and attracted more than 100,000 people.

The Christmas Fayre has not been held since before the coronavirus pandemic, which left residents questioning whether it had been permanently axed.

The start of Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The start of a previous Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre - Credit: Gregg Brown

A press release said the aim of the changes is to deliver a set of "linked entertaining, varied and safe events, with minimal disruption to residents and local businesses". 

The partnership includes: the Arc shopping centre; Our Bury St Edmunds BID (Business Improvement District); Bury St Edmunds Town Council; St Edmundsbury Cathedral and West Suffolk Council.

Festivities in the historic town will still kick off with the Christmas lights switch-on event, organised by the BID, on November 17.

This will be followed by the St Edmund's Day Weekend Spectacle of Light starting on November 17 and finishing on November 20 - St Edmund's Day.

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Julie Baird, director of planning and growth for West Suffolk Council, said: “I would like to thank the partnership in coming together to work on delivering a series of festive activities over five days to support our local businesses and help everyone have a great Christmas.

"By having this partnership we all hope to be able to deliver together a series of events that will take over from the traditional Christmas Fayre and appeal to everyone.

"We want get the balance on creating an attractive, enjoyable and safe event and one that will complement the Abbey 1000 celebrations as well as the other festivities that will be going on in November and December.”

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds BID, said: “The Christmas Fayre was always such an important and popular event for the town and its businesses, although I acknowledge there were some businesses and residents who were less supportive of it.

"As a consequence, I am delighted that this new partnership has come together with the aim of creating an event that retains the benefits of the fayre, but hopefully reduces the inconvenience and disruption that some have previously experienced.

"It is essential for Bury to raise its profile as a visitor and retail destination post-Covid and I am confident that this new event will positively contribute to achieving this objective.

"It’s an exciting time for the town and I know that the majority of BID businesses will welcome this good news”

Bury Christmas light celebration PICTURE; CHARLOTTE BOND

Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights celebration in 2021 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Catherine Rayson, marketing manager for St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said they were "delighted" to support the festive events in the town in 2022, which is an important year for celebrating Bury St Edmunds with the Abbey 1000 celebrations happening.

Greg Luton, Bury St Edmunds Town Clerk, said this initiative "is a great opportunity to draw visitors and residents into the town centre and bring the Christmas spirit alive, once again".

Allan Hassell, centre manager at the Arc, said the festivities would support the entire community of businesses around them.

"I'm really looking forward to my first Christmas here in Bury St Edmunds and I am confident that the planned activities will be not only enjoyable, but memorable for all, and really put Bury St Edmunds on the map," he said.

The Christmas in Bury St Edmunds partnership is working on the details of the various events and more information will be released in due course.

People are urged to put the dates in their diary and keep an eye on the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond website for more details as they are confirmed.