Ferris wheel, carousel and road train part of huge Harrogate Christmas offering


Last updated Oct 15, 2021
The ferris wheel in Edinburgh. Photo: Alasdair/Flickr

A Ferris wheel, Victorian carousel, helter skelter and road train will be among the highlights of Harrogate’s festive offering.

Harrogate Borough Council announced a raft of new initiatives today to bring festive cheer this year.

The festivities will last from November 15 to the first week of January.

A road train will operate around the town centre from December 3 until December 12, which coincides with the dates of the new Harrogate Christmas Fayre.

It’s all part of the council’s drive to get people into the town centre to support the new fayre and the artisan market in the Valley Garden, which will also stimulate high street businesses.

The Stray Ferret asked where the attractions will be placed and what the cost will be but a council spokesperson said those details were yet to be confirmed.

To encourage footfall to town centres across the Harrogate district, a magical window trail will also be unveiled.

Funded by the government’s Welcome Back Fund, the window trail will feature 12 festive depictions that have been designed by local people.

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Gemma Rio, head of destination management at Harrogate Borough Council, said Harrogate would be “an absolutely unmissable destination for a festive day trip or weekend away” this Christmas.

She added:

“We have been working hard to ensure festivities return this year in order to drive visitors to our district’s shops, restaurants, visitor attractions, hotels and B&Bs.

“This latest announcement confirms that Christmas is well and truly set to return to Harrogate town centre and I’m really excited about what we’re due to bring.

“We are also about to launch the biggest Christmas marketing campaign in Visit Harrogate history to ensure all towns enjoy the benefits the additional footfall brings.”

Free parking

Matthew Chapman, Harrogate Business Improvement District manager, said it promised to be “one of the most impressive festive offerings Harrogate has seen in many years”.

He added:

“In addition to supporting the Harrogate Christmas Fayre and co-funding the Ferris wheel, Victorian carousel, and helter skelter, in just a few weeks our Christmas lights will be illuminating more streets than in previous years.

“We are again partnering with the Rotary Club of Harrogate for the annual Christmas Shop Window competition and Harrogate International Festivals for their North Pole post office. And on Monday (18 October), we will officially take the Christmas wrapping off our Father Christmas experience.

“We have also been working with Harrogate Borough Council to offer shopper’s free parking in Victoria multi-storey car park at set times during the month of December. Retailers are expecting us to pull out all the stops this Christmas, and I don’t think they will be disappointed.”

Christmas markets

Christmas market operator Market Place Europe have also announced this week that Harrogate Christmas Fayre will be open between 10am and 7pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am and 9pm Thursday to Saturday, and 10am and 4.30pm on Sunday.

The market will take place on Cambridge Street, Market Place, Station Square and Cambridge Crescent and will be a great place to pick up some last minute and unique gifts along with mouth-watering treats for people to enjoy as they wander around taking in the sights and sounds.

Around 50 traders from Yorkshire will take part in the fayre.

In addition, Little Bird Made is set to hold a festive artisan market in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, with times to be confirmed.

The artisan market will feature approximately 60 local and regional traders and producers who will sell a variety of festive arts and crafts, clothing, homeware, jewellery, as well as food and drink.

Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said:

“More than 100 traders, as well as our high street businesses, will bring a first-class offering to Harrogate town centre this December that will truly get people in the festive mood.

“With the absence of a number of Christmas markets across the region this year, I have no doubt visitors will arrive by the coach load to see what Harrogate has to offer.

“Whether that’s our district’s shops, restaurants, visitor attractions or hotels and B&Bs, I hope everyone will see the benefit this town centre offering will bring.”

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