When are Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas lights being switched on and when does late night shopping start?
The Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds will be switched on next Thursday, November 16, which will also mark the beginning of late night shopping in the town.
The festive switch-on will include a packed programme of street and stage entertainment alongside Christmas fundraising stalls and fairground rides.
To support the late night shopping events, St Edmundsbury Borough Council is making parking free on Thursdays from 4pm from November 16 through to December 21, with free parking from 3pm on Tuesdays also still in place.
The free from 4pm on Thursdays includes the car parks on Angel Hill and the Cornhill – which St Edmundsbury manages on behalf of Suffolk County Council – although Angel Hill will not be available during the opening day of the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre on November 23.
Alaric Pugh, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for planning and growth said: “This is one of the busiest trading periods for many of our town centre businesses here in Bury St Edmunds and our free parking offer demonstrates St Edmundsbury’s commitment not only to their success, but also to the many residents, visitors and families who we know will want to come and enjoy a night out in our outstanding town.”
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Other highlights of the switch-on event will be a special enclosure of penguins on Abbeygate Street as well as a baby reindeer with its mother.
Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for operations said: “The free from 4pm offer runs every Thursday from November 16 through to December 21.
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“The council also runs free from 3pm parking on Tuesdays throughout the year in all of its short stay car parks in the town.
“The Tuesday initiative was introduced to encourage more people to visit the town centre during a period of the week that had traditionally been quieter for town traders.
“So why not take advantage of free from 3 Tuesdays and free from 4 Thursdays and have a great time in Bury St Edmunds.”
Mark Cordell, chief executive of OurBuryStEdmunds, which represents town centre businesses, said: “I am delighted that St Edmundsbury will continue its support for local business on late night shopping nights in the run up to Christmas by providing free car parking across the town.
“It provides a great opportunity for people, particularly those that work during the day, to pop into town to get some Christmas gifts or even to grab a bite to eat at one of our fabulous restaurants.”