Bury St Edmunds gets in the Christmas spirit with the start of its four-day fair
- Credit: Archant
Bury St Edmunds is feeling festive as its major four-day Christmas market gets underway.
The award-winning Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre, which is held at various locations in the town centre, began at noon on Thursday, November 22.
With more than 300 stalls, cookery demonstrations, fairground rides, Santa’s grotto, live music and more, the annual event attracts more than 120,000 people.
From handmade crafts to sweet treats, speciality gins and artisan cheeses, there is much to tempt, and possibly put away for Christmas presents.
The opening day is known as an event for the locals, featuring a penguin puppet parade led by children from the Apex to Angel Hill and followed by a carol concert at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and a fireworks display in the Abbey Gardens at 8pm.
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Councillor Robert Everitt said: “It’s an amazing event. We are very pleased the locals support us in what we do.
“We have 130,000 people come through the town and that brings a huge amount of money into the town, which obviously helps our retailers sustain what they do throughout the rest of the quieter period in February, March and April time.”
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The Abbey Gardens is also the setting for more than 100 stalls, children’s entertainment, real reindeer, and Santa and his elves in his winter workshop.
Maaike Taylor was enjoying the atmosphere in Hatter Street with her son Jesse.
She said: “It’s lovely. I think it’s all atmosphere to be honest. I think everyone’s suddenly ready for Christmas and getting into the Christmas spirit.
“I love all the stalls with mulled wine and mine pies and for the kids it’s mainly about the rides.”
New this year is a three-day festival in St John’s Street, which features a vibrant mix of independent traders.
From Friday, November 23, to Sunday, November 25, there will be an Elves Wonderland, donkeys and live music, complete with street food, mulled wine and gin.
The Guildhall will be holding toy making workshops on the Saturday and Sunday and the Haart community stage will be up in the Abbey Gardens for the first time this year.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of the Ourburystedmunds Business Improvement District group, said: “I’m delighted to see the weather forecast is good for the weekend so the thousands of people visiting the town will be able to have a great time here and see the wonderful offer that Bury St Edmunds has.”
Extra trains are running on Sunday, November 25, and as well as the usual council-run car parks, there are park and walk and park and ride services available.
For the full guide to the event, which is organised by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, see here.
For updates on parking over the duration of the event see the @stedsbc account on Twitter and use the hashtag #buryparking