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Thousands of visitors descended on Harrogate over the weekend as the second annual Harrogate Christmas Market took place.

Running over four days, from Thursday, November 28 to Sunday, December 1, it attracted crowds from across Yorkshire and beyond to do their Christmas shopping – not only at the Christmas Market but in the many shops around the town.

Visitors and stallholders alike have given an overwhelmingly positive response, praising the organisation and ambition of the team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make the event a success.

Brian Dunsby, who has led the team along with his wife Beryl, said: “The opening ceremony on Thursday was very popular with the many children and parents who attended to see Santa arriving on his sleigh, pulled by real reindeer, helped by our two ‘elves’, Jonathan and Kieron, from Gambaru Fitness.

“That really set the tone for the whole weekend and put everyone in a fantastic mood. The aisles, the Food and Drink Marquee and the Craft and Gift Marquee have been packed with shoppers all weekend – and many of the town centre shops have also reported a huge rise in footfall, which is one of our main aims.”

Several of the businesses at the Christmas Market reported sales far in excess of what was expected. Among the local organisations taking part was Harrogate Lions, which ran the mulled wine stall, after selling four days’ stock in less than three days, had to bring in extra reserves on Saturday.

Laurence Charlton from Harrogate Lions said: “Even compared to last year, it has been amazingly busy.

“There’s a really good atmosphere, especially as it gets darker. We’ve been sharing things through the Lions page on Facebook and loads of people have been on there, talking about it.”

Among the local businesses which have benefited are Jakes and Baltzersens, both based on Oxford Street in Harrogate, traditional toyshop The Rocking Horse from Westminster Arcade, Knaresborough-based French Chef at Home and Woolly Buddha, which specialises in hand-knitted accessories. While sales at the Christmas Market were important, the event also helped to raise their profile and bring the businesses to the attention of new customers.

Mr Dunsby added: “Because this is a free, open event, we have no way of knowing exactly how many people have been to Harrogate Christmas Market. However, our calculations suggest we’re significantly up on 2012, when more than 30,000 people were here.

“Not only has 2013 been bigger and better, but we’ve also had the weather on our side. When you add in the incredible support we have had from local people and businesses, this really has been a fantastic event for Harrogate.”

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Tel: 01423 879208   Fax: 01423 870025.   Mobile: 07836 537512

Organisers: Brian & Beryl Dunsby  Administrators: Maggie Hall & Chris Muir


Harrogate Christmas Market Ltd
PO Box 888, Harrogate, HG2 8UH   Tel: 01423 879208 or 870025
E-mail:  Website:

A not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No 04002044