In just three days’ time, Harrogate officially ushers in the 2017 Christmas season with two ridiculously festive events: The Harrogate Christmas Market, which runs from Thursday, 16th November to Sunday, 19th November, and The Harrogate Christmas Lights Big Switch On, which takes place from 4pm-6pm on Thursday, 16th November.
Harrogate Christmas Market
The Harrogate Christmas Market is now in its sixth year, attracting around 60,000 visitors over the four days. With around 200 traders selling decorations, gifts, food and drink, it attracts people from all over the UK and beyond. The event is not-for-profit, and is run by a dedicated group of community-minded volunteers. The organisers have tried to create a Christmas market with a Yorkshire flavour, which is why great care is taken to ensure that most of the traders are based in Yorkshire, selling Yorkshire- or UK-made products.
The organisers are very excited to announce that a very busy VIP will be arriving at 10am on Thursday, along with some of his elves (plus the market will have two of his reindeer on display). This jolly fellow will arrive in his sleigh, accompanied by The Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Anne Jones, who will officially open this year’s market. The above photo is from last year’s opening. Some lucky school children will be on hand to welcome FC and the mayor.
What’s at the market
While our market may be small (but perfectly formed) compared to some, there’s still so much to enjoy inside.
- Rows of outdoor stalls decorated with fairy lights, as well as two marquees: Food and Drink (where you can sit down), and Crafts and Gifts
- Santa in his grotto, with two live reindeer on site
- Programme of live music
- Compact fun fair with rides for younger children
- Mulled wine and cider, plus hot chocolate with a shot
- Hot food and snacks
- Market Maker volunteers to assist visitors and traders
And in addition to our popular market, Harrogate has fantastic independent hotels, shops, bars and restaurants to make your visit even more enjoyable. It’s worth taking the time to explore our town.
The Harrogate Christmas Lights Big Switch On
If you’re visiting Harrogate on Thursday, 16th November, head down to the Victoria Shopping Centre Piazza for the Big Switch On. Over £25,000 was raised this year through the ‘How Big is Your Bauble’ pledge campaign, which ensures Harrogate has a fantastic display of lights at Christmas.
The festivities take place from 4pm to 6pm, with live entertainment from:
Becky Bowe – jazz and blues singer
Harrogate Theatre’s panto cast
Knaresborough Silver Band – traditional brass band
Rascals Entertainment – children’s entertainers
Thomas Teago – contemporary singer/songwriter
Presenters from the local radio station, Stray FM, plus The Worshipful the Mayor of Harrogate Cllr Anne Jones, and one or two special guests will help to make this an event you don’t want to miss. And afterwards, there’s a lantern procession to St Peter’s Church for a carol concert.
So, if you can’t wait for the Christmas season to begin, Harrogate is the place to be this Thursday.