Durham Christmas Festival returns on the first weekend of December, from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd, and this year two markets have combined to make Palace Green the perfect destination for Christmas shoppers.
The City of Durham will be transformed with three festive markets and more than 225 independent small businesses providing gifts, treats, decorations, festive food and drink and more. Those markets are Durham Market Hall, the Festive Outdoor Market in Durham Market Place and the Craft & Producers’ Marquee* on Palace Green. This year there will not be a Regional Food and Drink Producers’ market in the Cloisters of Durham Cathedral, but many of these traders will be joining the craft and gift businesses in the marquee on Palace Green, making it a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Christmas goodies.
Alice Wilkes, of Durham Markets Company which organises the festival together with Durham University, commented: “We’re delighted this year to incorporate our creative and gift traders along with the region’s finest food and drink producers in one market on Palace Green. It’ll be the ideal Christmas shopping spot!
“We know that all our participating small businesses, over 225 in total, are already working hard getting ready for the festival. For visitors, if you want a quieter visit, we’d recommend coming to Durham on the Friday. Friday is especially good for carers visiting with those they care for as the carer will be entitled to free entry to the Craft & Producers’ Marquee*.
“On Saturday and Sunday, there will be lots of festive music throughout the city including a Christmas ‘Carolathon’ on Palace Green on Saturday 2nd, free entertainment for children in Children’s Corner on Palace Green, and our traders in the Craft & Producers’ Marquee* will be costumed to add to the festive atmosphere.”
For families, the Children’s Lantern Parade will once more fill the city centre with light on the afternoon of Saturday 2nd December. The children, bearing their lanterns, together with their families, will head from the Market Place at 2.30pm, arriving at Durham Cathedral for the St Nicholas Service at 3pm. This year’s parade will be led by the Chester le Street Salvation Army Band with an escort by members of Durham Fire Cadets.