St Nicholas Fair

York Christmas Festival 2022: Celebrations for 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair

Baubles, carols and festive fairs – Christmas in York is just around the corner! Extra special plans are in place across the city this year to celebrate 30 years of York’s famous Christmas Market, St Nicholas Fair. 70 alpine chalets will line the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square from 17th November to 23rd December, creating a festive wonderland with an array of local produce and artisan gifts on offer from local traders. 

From luxury stationary to Yorkshire Pudding beer, there are lots of unique gift ideas at this year’s Christmas market. What’s more, all traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering exclusive discounts for York residents when presented with a valid York Card or identity card with proof of address*. Each trader will offer a discount ranging from 10 to 30% discounts, more details can be found here. 

Brand new to York Christmas Market for 2022 is a traditional Swiss chalet, The Winter Hütte. With a spectacular terrace overlooking St Nicholas Fair, The Winter Hütte offers a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from one of Yorkshire’s best-known chefs, the Michelin-starred Andrew Pern. For passers-by, there is a fully-licensed bar area serving seasonal favourites such as gluhwein and spiced cider. Dining bookings are now open on the website. 

Another new addition to York’s Christmas Market 2022 is the Chocolate Circus. The brainchild of the York based family behind Herbie’s Treehouse, look out for their Instagram-worthy loaded hot chocolates. From giant snowman marshmallows to York printed wafers, there’s a topping for everyone including a full vegan hot chocolate alternative menu.  

Herbie’s Treehouse returns for its fifth year, with premium German mulled wine, Cornish mulled cider and Belgian hot chocolates. This year, look out for the new Herbie’s Secret Orchard at the back of the Treehouse for a special menu of hot toddies created with award-winning York Gin. Throughout the duration of the Christmas Market, resident singers and variety performers will play on the new Treetop Stage above the Treehouse, offering an exciting new entertainment area. Local schools, choirs and community groups will be invited to perform, as well as York based artists and international singers.  

Shambles Market Food Court vendors Krep and Shambles Kitchen will be returning to the Christmas market this year, plus Meow and Bao Little Bubble Box will be serving up a combination of infused Asian cuisine. Shambles Ski Bar is also returning this year, with an authentic Après Ski themed pop-up bar stocked with festive favourites. A new addition to this year’s market is York Cocoa Works, who will be on hand to share their chocolate making process from cocoa beans to chocolate bar, truffles, cakes and more. Don’t miss a visit to neighbouring Shambles Market for some of York’s best independent traders, selling everything from seasonal wreaths to locally grown produce.  

To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the opening day of the market with a special programme of free events and activities for residents. From 12pm to 9pm on Thursday 17th November, there will be live entertainment in St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market to get everybody in the festive spirit. There’ll be choirs, bands, performances and free theatre workshops throughout the day and into the evening. Plus, there’ll even be an opportunity to meet St Nicholas himself at Shambles Market! The full programme of events will be announced soon. 

Those in the city centre on the evening of the 17th November to celebrate the opening of St Nicholas Fair will be the first to see the spectacular light display for the 2022 festive season. Promising to be the best winter lights display the city has seen, this year will see more lights, new technology and new areas added to the scheme. A partnership between York BID and Make It York, this year’s winter light display will increase the use of more sustainable LED and solar lights, with new areas to be lit up including George Hudson Street and Nessgate. The curtain of lights on York’s historic bar walls will remain, along with the magical ‘Tree of Light’ at the Eye of York with its 1km of twinkly LED lights which change colour to mark important dates and festivals. 

Another great way to see the city in all its festive glory is by following the brand-new Nutcracker Trail. Pick up a free map and seek out ten Nutcrackers across the city centre for a chance to win a £500 York BID Gift Card.  

York Minster has a packed programme of events for Advent and Christmas, including their Christmas Carol Concerts and the return of the Christmas Tree Festival. Castle Howard is set to be transformed into a wonderland of ‘happily ever afters’ with their new ‘Into The Woods’ Christmas experience designed by Charlotte Lloyd Webber Events and The Projection Studio. Plus, THOR’S Tipi will be back in The Principal Hotel Gardens from 11th November, serving up delicious snowboard platters by Yuzu Street Food and cocktails by the cosy log fires. 

Residents and visitors can bring home some of the magic of York this Christmas, with their own special edition 30th Anniversary Bauble. Designed by local artist Emma Feneley, following a local competition, the porcelain bauble will be available to purchase from the Visitor Information Centre from mid-November. Emma’s design features famous York landmark Clifford’s Tower in the festive season and is the perfect addition to any Christmas tree! 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “Christmas in York is always a special time of the year, with this year set to be even more so as we celebrate 30 years of the famous St Nicholas Fair. We’re delighted to be welcoming Michelin-starred Andrew Pern and The Winter Hütte to Parliament Street for a unique food and drink offer. We’re pleased that all of our traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering a discount for York residents, plus we’ll be hosting a whole day and evening of free festive entertainment on Thursday 17th November to mark this special milestone for St Nicholas Fair.” 

Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, said: “The programme of Christmas activities across York this year is outstanding – with so many unique experiences on offer for all to enjoy. This, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders, is sure to bring the festive magic back to York.  Christmas is a great time to support York’s local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer. 

“York really comes alive at Christmas, so we are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors to enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We’re excited about the new design and can’t wait to see the new winter lights scheme in place. Residents and visitors will notice a real difference in key areas like Parliament Street, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to extend the scheme to light up new areas like Castlegate, George Hudson Street and Nessgate.” 

Andrew Pern, Michelin-Starred Chef, said: “We are hugely excited to be bringing The Winter Hütte and a taste of the Alps to the ancient streets of York. Aside from the incredible two-storey structure, I am delighted to introduce a new Star Inn venture to The Winter Hütte with a restaurant serving great Yorkshire produce with a Swiss twist.  As well as traditional fondue and raclette, the menu will also boast off-piste specials such as Cinnamon Roast Porcetta Suckling Pig with spiced apples, chestnuts and mulled cider juices or Gratin of Winter Roots with toasted cranberry muesli, nut “cheese”, garden sage and onion.  In the downstairs ski bar we will be serving a range of Bratwurst from “The Dog Haus” to enjoy with a festive beverage, while passers-by can also grab a tasty bite from the window counter.  Together with the scent of pine and decor of mountain scenes and cow bells, The Winter Hütte will be a real experience for all the senses this Christmas.” 

Festive cheer will be spread across the city, with carol concerts, festive events and the return of panto season. For more information about what’s happening in York this Christmas, please visit visityork.org/christmas.  

Visit York’s festive press pack can be found here and press images can be downloaded here. 

*To qualify for the resident discounts offered by traders at St Nicholas Fair, you must present a valid York Card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (e.g. driving licence or older person’s bus pass). The full list of offers can be found here. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

St Nicholas Fair runs from 17th November to 23rd December on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, open daily from 10am to 7pm. St Nicholas Fair is a Make It York event.  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand. 

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About The Winter Hütte 

The Winter Hütte is a joint venture between Coopers Marquees, CMJ Events and Andrew Pern of The Star Inn the City (York) Limited. Combined, the team brings over 60 years of live entertainment and food knowledge to deliver this spectacular new event for York, home to all three companies. 

St Nicholas Fair 30th Anniversary Bauble Design Competition 

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED


Make It York are calling out for visual artists, print makers, and designers to create a bespoke bauble design to celebrate the 30th anniversary of York’s St Nicholas Fair.  

A staple in York’s streets over the festive period since 1992, the St Nicholas Fair Christmas Market will this year feature a special limited run of porcelain baubles that celebrate this exciting milestone. Profits from the bauble sales will be used to create a new cultural fund, York Creates, to provide future small-seed funding for artists and makers in the city. 

About St Nicholas Fair 

Rated in the top ten Christmas Markets in the UK, the five-week St Nicholas Fair features over sixty alpine chalets lining the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampsons Square, with local businesses selling everything from handmade gifts to delicious treats. The fair is the heart of the city’s Christmas experience and contributes to York ranking in the UK’s top ten Christmas destinations.  

Find out more about Christmas in York here. 

About the Competition 

The theme for the design is: A York Christmas 

Artists should produce a design around this theme for the bauble, which can be traditional, contemporary or give a fresh interpretation to a York Christmas.   

Artists should produce a design using the guidelines provided and give a short explanation of their design. The bauble can accommodate three images of 40 x 40mm. These images can either be identical or different, depending on artist preference. However, one (or all) of these image squares should either be or include the word ‘York’, or some variation around a Christmas greeting (e.g., ‘Merry Christmas from York’). 

Designs should be high quality and appeal to a range of customers, both local and visitors. The design should be suitable for use set against the white background of the bauble. The brief is open to interpretation on design style. Download instructions here for design specifications. 

The winner will be decided by Make It York. The winner will be awarded a £500 cash prize and be included in promotional activity. A limited run of baubles will be produced and sold through Make It York as part of the 2022 St Nicholas Fair. 

Enter the competition by 12 noon on 12 August 2022. APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

For more information or to ask a question, contact culture@makeityork.com.

Competition Rules 

  • Artists may submit a maximum of two entries. 
  • Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible to enter the competition. Artists should reside in York, or have a strong local connection. 
  • Designs that do not fit the specifications provided will not be accepted. Read specifications here.  
  • Only new designs will be permitted – designs which already exist and have been used in other contexts will not be accepted.  
  • The artist should submit a visual design for a bauble which will be manufactured professionally. Artists are not expected the manufacture the baubles themselves.  
  • Entries from members of Make It York staff, Visit York staff and volunteers, and close family of these is not permitted. 
  • Entries remain the intellectual property of the artist and after the competition, will be kept on record for informational purposes only by Make It York. Artists may contact the company to request their design be removed from records. 
  • The winning artist’s prize includes a buyout fee of £500 of the intellectual property of the design, which will become the property of Make It York, who will have sole right to merchandise the baubles. The artist will not receive a share of sales. All profits will be ringfenced for the new York Creates cultural seed fund. 
  • Decisions will be made in August 2022, with the winner being notified on or before 19 August 2022.  
  • The decision of Make It York on the outcome of the competition is final, although we are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.  

St Nicholas Fair to return for 30th Anniversary

After a hugely successful St Nicholas Fair in 2021, Make It York have confirmed that plans are already underway for Christmas 2022 with the popular fair set to return on 17th November to 23rd December. 

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, which has been a staple in York’s streets during the festive period since 1992.  The famous alpine chalets line Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square creating a festive wonderland, with an array of local traders and artisan products.   

In 2021, St Nicholas Fair influenced 71% of visitors to come to York – with 3 in 10 visiting for the market alone.* Traffic to the Christmas content on the Visit York website exceeded 700,000 views, with Visit York social channels reaching over 1.4 million. There was over 140 pieces of media coverage, which had a combined reach of over 19 million. Plus, a national marketing campaign including national radio adverts and 50,000 print Christmas guides which were distributed across the city. 

Make It York’s research into 2021 also demonstrated that St Nicholas Fair had a positive impact on other businesses within the city. 32% of visitor spend was at the Christmas Market itself, with 41% shopping elsewhere and 20% eating and drinking in venues away from the market.* 

St Nicholas Fair was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, with Visit York hosting a virtual market online. 2021 saw the second year of the Virtual Christmas Market, which allowed shoppers unable to travel to have the opportunity to buy from local traders online.   

Tendering is now open for St Nicholas Fair 2022. To be involved in a special year for the market, please find out more here. The deadline for applications is 4th March 2022.  

*Data based on 200 people interviewed by Qa Research at York Christmas Markets 2021. Base: 169 visitors and 31 residents  

 
For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer, Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com   

Notes to Editors 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

Plans announced for York Christmas Festival 2021

St Nicholas Fair set to return to York’s city centre from 18th November to 23rd December 

The popular St Nicholas Fair will be returning to York city centre this year between 18th November and 23rd December – with an array of local businesses selling everything from handmade gifts to delicious seasonal treats and crafts.  

Sixty-eight festive alpine chalets will be spread across Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, offering a range of unique gifts, seasonal food and drinks and local produce.  

THOR’S tipi will also be back for its sixth year on Parliament Street, from 17th Nov to the 2nd Jan 2022. Serving traditional ‘Winter Warmers,’ such as mulled wine & luxury hot chocolate, with delicious feasts by Yuzu Street Food – all in a twinkly, Christmas style tipi with real log fire. The rustic Yorkshire Barn in St Sampson’s Square will warm up guests with festive food and drink, from hot chestnuts to mulled wine and King’s Square will host the much-loved Vintage Carousel throughout the festive season.   

Plans are also underway for the city to be decorated once again with stunning festive lights, giving a special festive back drop for residents and visitors to the city centre to enjoy. Delivered by York BID in partnership with Make It York, the winter light scheme this year includes the Tree of Light at the Eye of York, beautiful Christmas trees on St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market and York’s historic bars illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights.

The city-wide Christmas offer is also set to be bigger and better than ever. Castle Howard will welcome back theatrical designers Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gereke and team who have worked their magic on Castle Howard at Christmas for the past four seasons. Inspired by the much-adored novels by C. S. Lewis the historic house will be turned into the wintery, magical land of Narnia. Visitors will journey through the grand state rooms and experience installations based on scenes from the epic stories.  

The National Centre for Early Music will be holding their popular York Early Music Christmas Festival (3rd-11th December). This year’s festival includes the return of Joglaresa, whose exuberant music and wassailing sums up Yuletide in music and song; The Gesulado Six, returning to York after playing to packed houses in the York Early Music Festival 2021; and award-winning young artists Prisma, from Germany. 

Residents and visitors can also look forward to a host of other festive events taking place at the city’s attractions – not to mention a fantastic choice of entertainment at the city’s theatres and venues, with pantomimes and Christmas carol concerts.  

Following the success of last year’s virtual Christmas market, an online market will also run on visityork.org throughout the whole festive season. Helping to bring the magic of St Nicholas Fair into homes across the country, the virtual market will offer a safe and snug option for those looking to purchase their festive gifts online this year, whilst also supporting York’s traders, retailers and attractions.   

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Policy, Strategy and Partnerships, said: “Christmas celebrations are always special in York and many of us undoubtedly missed our usual city-wide festivities last year. With the return of so many well-loved events and additions of many new ones, I am sure residents and visitors will once again be looking forward to enjoying our city throughout the festive season. 

“York has a fantastic range of independent and small businesses offering exceptional services and products. Christmas is a great time to support our local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer.  This Christmas we look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to safely enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York, said: “York is a city that really comes alive at Christmas and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put plans in place for an event that will really deliver the festive magic that York is renowned for. We are delighted to be working with so many local traders to bring back St Nicholas Fair back better than ever and create a magical festive experience for visitors and residents to enjoy.  

The programme of Christmas activities going on in and around York this year is outstanding –with so many unique experiences on offer at the city’s attractions and venues across the city, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders.” 

St Nicholas Fair will be open from 18th November to 23rd December – Sunday – Thursday 10:00 to 18:00 and Friday & Saturday 10:00 to 20:00. 

For regular updates on what’s happening in York over Christmas, or a free guide to Christmas in the City, visit www.visityork.org/Christmas or email info@visityork.org.  A new guide to Christmas will be available free of charge from the Visit York Information Centre, 1 Museum Street, from the last week in September.  

ENDS 


For further information please contact:  

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager 
Email: comms@makeityork.com   

Notes to editors: 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Inward Investment and network building 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Visit York brings festive cheer into the homes of York residents and fans of the city this Christmas Eve

York residents and people from all across the globe are invited to join Visit York in celebrating Christmas this year – virtually. A surprise Visit York Christmas Special video will premiere at 2PM on Christmas Eve (December 24th) across Visit York social media channels and on YouTube, bringing festive cheer into homes across the city.  

The video will bring to life what makes our city so special, particularly at this time of  year – with a real community Christmas feel. Local businesses and personalities will come together to bring a combination of theatre, music, performances, stories and a special sing-along for all to enjoy this Christmas Eve from the comfort of their own homes.  

The Visit York Christmas Special video will be presented by the city’s favourite Town Crier and this year’s Visit York Tourism Champion – Ben Fry. Resident Spookologist and expert storyteller of York’s ghoulish past, Dr Dorian Deathly, will open the Visit York Christmas Special with a phantasmagorical tale to add some mystery to the Christmas celebrations.  

The Visit York Christmas Special will feature a number of musical performances including York’s very own singer-songwriter and BBC’s Fame Academy star, Alistair Griffin, and York based SONY Award winning songwriter, folk musician and Radio 4 “Open Country” presenter, Jez Lowe. Viewers will be able to enjoy a very special performance of “Silent Night” from year ones at Westfield Primary Community School, while the National Centre for Early Music will also share a part of their “York Christmas at Home” festival with a special musical performance from the Palisander ensemble.  

Two of York’s theatres will show snippets of their latest performances. Badapple Theatre Company will perform a section of their production of “The Snow Dancer” – a touching winter fairy tale with a furry tail. The popular “Travelling Pantomime” from York Theatre Royal have also taken a break from their Christmas tour around the city and sent a snippet of their festive show to bring plenty of laughs and fun into the homes of everyone this Christmas.  

The video will also have a special message from the Archbishop of York, followed by the York Minster Choir performance. And, to make this year very special to all in York, Visit York have got the biggest Christmas celebrity there is to wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and they are inviting everyone to join the Visit York Christmas Special premiere to find out who this is!  

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing, Marketing and Communications at Make It York said: 

“Our team has been working hard behind the scenes with our local community to create this Visit York Christmas Special. Even though Christmas may look a little different this year, we wanted to do something to spread some Christmas cheer and it’s great to see so many people contributing to this film, to do just that. We hope that this film will bring some festive magic into people’s homes on Christmas Eve, so please do tune in to watch the Visit York Christmas Special – and a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Make It York.” 

The Visit York Christmas Special will premiere at 2PM on Thursday 24 December on Visit York Facebook and YouTube channels. It will then be available to watch again on @VisitYork Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Visit York Christmas Special will also be broadcast live on YorkMix Radio at 2PM.  

ENDS  

Notes to Editor 

Make It York  
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.  

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.  

For more information please contact:  

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive 
Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com

Festive plans for York city centre this Christmas season

Following the news that York will be moving into tier two from 2nd December, Make It York is working with York’s retail, hospitality and tourism businesses, York BID and City of York Council to create a welcoming and safe Christmas experience to enjoy in the city for residents and people who can visit safely. Plans to animate the city centre space include seasonal food vendors on Parliament Street, festive street performers over the weekends on the run up to Christmas and the return of the much- loved ‘vintage carousel’.

From 2nd December, many of York’s businesses including local retailers, attractions, restaurants, cafes and more, will be back open in the city centre. Shambles Market will also be reopening – with a wide variety of independent traders offering local produce, festive gifts and delicious street food. The focus for the city’s Christmas marketing this year will be to support York’s diverse and vibrant local business community by creating a welcoming festive ambience in the city centre. Activity will aim to encourage a sense of community, promote shopping local, and support York’s local traders – recognising the individual and unique offers of York’s businesses who have worked so hard to continue keeping the city safe. 

From 2nd December until 10th January (excluding bank holidays), there will be a variety of local street food vendors spread out on Parliament Street serving seasonal food, mulled wine and hot chocolate. Traders will include KREP and Shambles Kitchen (who can also be found on the Shambles Market Food Court), The Treehouse, Vines Mulled wine and The Cattle Shed (who can also be found on Coppergate). Children (and adults!) are invited to take a ride on the vintage carousel which will be operating throughout the festive period.

Festive roaming street performers will also be in the city centre on the weekends of the 12th-13th and 19th-20th December – moving around key areas of the city to create a fun, visually engaging experience for visitors into the city centre.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said, “The Christmas period is hugely important for traders and businesses across the city, especially as we come out of this second national lockdown. Our marketing activity focuses on championing York’s local businesses and delivering plans to ensure a welcoming and safe Christmas experience for residents and visitors. Our team have been working hard with partners across the city to create a magical city centre experience, with all the ambience you’d expect from a traditional York Christmas, and festive initiatives to get people moving around the city.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said:

“York is known worldwide as a city with a fantastic festive atmosphere at Christmas time. This year’s celebrations will be different to those we have enjoyed in previous years, but the festive spirit will still be strong in the city.

“We are lucky enough to be home to an amazing range of independent retailers in the city, and they have put in a great effort to ensure they meet all the covid secure guidelines. Our stores are ready to welcome shoppers back in a safe way as they prepare for Christmas.

If we all continue to follow hands, face, space guidance we can continue to shop locally, support our independent retailers and give back to the local economy this Christmas.”

A York Quest augmented reality app is also being launched by York BID with co-funding from Make It York this week. The app features a Santa search, encouraging families to find seven Christmas characters who have taken up residence on York’s historic streets. They can then take a fun photo with the character and share on social media. The York Quest app is available from Thursday, December 3 on Google Play Store or App Store.

Throughout the city centre the winter lights are also up, giving a special festive back drop for residents and visitors to the city centre to enjoy. Organised by York BID and Make It York, the winter light scheme this year includes beautiful Christmas trees on St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market and York’s historic bars illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights.

The city’s many attractions and venues will also be offering a range of festive experiences for people to enjoy – from chocolate making with Santa at York’s Chocolate Story, Christmas themed walking tours, Santa experiences with City Cruises and a ‘Christmas Spectacular’ on Kirkgate at York Castle Museum – there is something for all ages and interests.

A virtual Christmas market is also taking place on visityork.org until 4th January to celebrate the outstanding diversity of local traders, retailers and businesses across the city and bring the magic of St Nicholas Fair into homes across the country. The virtual markets will give people the chance to browse the markets from the comfort their own home, offering a safe and snug option for those looking to purchase their festive gifts online this year whilst also supporting their local traders and retailers.

For more information about York at Christmas visit:  visityork.org/Christmas

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment.

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive

Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com

Visit York’s new online shop launches in time for Christmas

Visit York have today (23rd November) launched a new online shop with a range of York-themed gifts, and merchandise just in time for Christmas. Launching with over thirty high quality products, the shop features everything from beautiful York prints, mugs and candles, to iconic York Monopoly sets and a range of books about the city.  The new e-shop is now live here: shop.visityork.org

The online shop includes a new range of bespoke designed sweatshirtrs and hoodies in partnership with Visit York member Good Trip Clothing, a local York business who offer high quality organic clothes, manufactured using ethical and sustainable practices. The beautifully designed York-themed sweatshirts and hoodies will be on offer exclusively on the site, made from a blend of super soft organic cotton and high-grade polyester recycled from plastic bottles.

The shop will also include a stunning range of Temple Island products – including York themed mugs, coaster, candles and keyrings, with something for all budgets available. Products from local artists including ‘Art by Jo’ and ‘Staves Art’ will include unique hand drawn cityscape illustrations available on prints, greetings cards and cushions – perfect gifts for Christmas for residents and lovers of York. 

Visit York which is a part of Make It York, have launched the new shop area on visityork.org just in time for inclusion within the virtual Christmas market event which runs until 4th January online. The virtual market showcases a range of local traders, independent businesses and attractions selling an assortment of unique and local festive York produce, gifts and experiences.

Russell McCartney, Head of Commercial at Make It York said: “We are delighted to launch our new online shop which features some of the very best in York themed gifts and merchandise. We are really proud of the range on offer and it is wonderful to be working with local business Good Trip Clothing on some new and exclusive York-themed clothes, which are all ethically sourced and sustainably made. We’ve hand-picked a range of high-quality products which will be ideal gifts for Christmas, or as souvenirs for those who love York.”

Danny Sullivan, Owner of Good Trip Clothing said, “It’s been great to partner with Visit York on this new range for their online shop – particularly as we both share the same goals to change how people perceive souvenir clothing and offer high quality sustainable products to our customers. The new hoodies and sweatshirts created for Visit York customers are made from organic cotton and high grade polyester which has been recycled from plastic bottles –  and we are incredibly proud of the quality of these products.”

The shop is now live on the Visit York website here: shop.visityork.org.  

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment.

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive

Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com

Launch of York’s first Virtual Christmas Market

For the first time ever, York’s Christmas Market has gone virtual, with over fifty traders, craftspeople and local businesses getting involved to be a part of the online experience.  From festive foods and Christmas decorations, to handmade jewellery and candles, the virtual market has a wide variety of gift ideas, seasonal products and festive treats from some of York’s best local businesses and independent traders.

Launching on visityork.org today (12th November) the Virtual Christmas Market has been created by Make It York in response to the recent announcement that St Nicholas Fair had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual event instead celebrates the outstanding diversity of local traders, retailers and businesses across the city, helping to bring the magic of St Nicholas Fair into homes across the country and offering a safe and snug option for those looking to purchase their festive gifts online this year, whilst also supporting York’s traders, retailers and attractions.  

Businesses taking part this year include York Gin, The Grand York, Bradleys The Jewellers, JORVIK, The Chuckling Cheese Company, Ainsty Ales and The Hat Shop York – with more being added each day. ‘Visitors’ to the online market can purchase a wide variety of unique gifts to suit all tastes – from craft gins and homemade brownies, Viking drinking horns, handmade skin care products, stunning artwork and much more.  Continuing throughout the entire festive period until 4th January, the virtual market is now live for browsing here: https://www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas/virtual-york-christmas-market.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York, said:

“Our virtual Christmas Market – a York first – celebrates and promotes York’s diverse local traders, retailers and attractions, encouraging people to support local businesses with their Christmas shopping this year. With a wide variety of brilliant traders from the local area taking part and a huge array of unique and quirky gift ideas, the virtual ‘event’ offers a safe way for residents to support independent traders and businesses over the festive period.”

Emma Godivala, Director at York Gin, said:

“York Gin are delighted to be part of the virtual Christmas Market. It’s the perfect way for people to show their support for all our brilliant local businesses. During these strange times, our hearts have truly been warmed by the support of our local customers. And the virtual Christmas market gives everyone in the area the chance to get behind the local economy – and buy local.”

Kay Bradley, Owner of Bradley’s Jewellers York, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the York virtual Christmas Market this year as one of the city’s many independent retailers. During these challenging times, our family-owned and run jewellers rely on the support of the local community, as we work to continue bringing joy to our customers throughout the festive period. The virtual market is a great shared space for York’s shops to offer unique local products to customers from across the city and beyond, and it helps support the city’s economy when it is vitally important.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning said:

“This year it’s even more important that residents support local businesses where they can. We can all play our part and think local when planning our Christmas shopping. Many of your favourite shops and services have moved their unique offerings online, so make sure you check their websites and social media accounts for ways to support them right now.

If we all continue to follow the guidance, and York’s infection rate continues to decline, we are hopeful that residents will be able to enjoy York’s magical Christmas atmosphere once restrictions are lifted.”

The launch of the virtual market coincides with the festive lights going up across the city today (12th November) – with York BID and Make It York partnering to transform the city with magical winter lights and create a wonderful festive atmosphere. York’s four historic bars; Micklegate, Bootham, Monkbar and Walmgate, the traditional gateways to the city since medieval times, will once again be illuminated with thousands of tiny twinkling white lights. York Minster and St Michael le Belfrey will also be lit up once again this year and beautiful Christmas trees will adorn St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market.  For the first time, additional solar powered lights have also been added to the lighting scheme on streets which in previous years haven’t had any winter lights.  These lights, which have been coordinated in partnership between York BID and Make It York, will brighten the city throughout the Christmas period and create a wonderful festive atmosphere for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID said:

“The winter lights are a much-loved feature of Christmas in York.  After such a challenging year it feels especially important to mark the festive season by bringing a bit of beauty and magic to the city, creating a special atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.”

A special live post this evening (12th November) on the Visit York’s social media channels will capture the magic of the switching on of the lights, with residents and visitors encouraged to share their own lights and Christmas decorations going up over the next few weeks using #LightUpYork, for a chance to be featured on the channels.

Sean Bullick continued:

“Whilst sadly due to the coronavirus pandemic we have been unable to hold a physical ‘light switch on’ event this year, we are still working with York BID to jointly fund this year’s winter lights across the city. From today York will be transformed with beautiful winter lights to give it a magical, festive ambience and instead of a light switch on event, we will be sharing content across our social media channels from tonight which captures the magic of the lights going on in the city this festive season. We are also inviting residents and local businesses to get involved by sharing their own Christmas lights and decorations going up using #LightUpYork as part of a wider seasonal campaign.”  

York’s first virtual market is now open here (until 4th January). Businesses who would like to take part can contact faye.davis@makeityork.com

ENDS


Notes to Editor

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment.

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager
Email: amy.goodman@makeityork.com

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive
Email: ana.ignatova@makeityork.com

York’s St Nicholas Fair Christmas Markets cancelled for 2020

Make It York and City of York Council have today announced that York’s St Nicholas Fair will not be going ahead this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the announcement that the government’s three-tier restriction system has resulted in York being added to the ‘medium’ alert level, and with Covid-19 infection rates rising above the national average, this has resulted in a change to city-wide celebrations, including the city’s Christmas market. 

Whilst the markets will not be going ahead as planned this year, Christmas is certainly not cancelled. Make It York and City of York Council will be working together with partners and businesses across the city to ensure Christmas in York remains a magical and unique experience for local residents.  

The focus for the city’s festive marketing activity this year will now aim to encourage a sense of community, shopping local, and supporting our local traders – recognising the individual and unique offers of York’s businesses who have worked so hard to continue keeping the city safe.   

Make It York and City of York Council will work closely alongside partners to support and promote the city’s retailers, hospitality and attraction businesses, promoting York in line with public health and Government guidance as a safe place for people to visit responsibly.   

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said:

“It is with deep sadness that we’ve had to cancel the 2020 Christmas market. This decision has not been taken lightly and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes with City of York Council and the Safety Advisory Group to consider all possible options and look at ways to run a safe event.  We know how important this event is for the city however, our paramount priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of our residents, visitors, traders and the city as a whole. Safety considerations must come first, and the decision to cancel this year’s physical event is in line with the latest public health advice in this area.  

We understand the impact this will have on local traders, retailers and other hospitality businesses across the city and we will be working hard to support them over the next few months and promote the unique festive offering that the city has.  

Plans are underway for a virtual Christmas market hosted on the Visit York website which will celebrate the outstanding diversity of local traders, retailers and businesses across the city and allow people to experience a taste of what York has to offer from the comfort of their own home.     

We are also developing plans for ways to promote York as a warm and welcoming place for residents to explore and enjoy over the festive season, working alongside City of York Council and other partners across the city to implement this activity. 

We are already looking ahead to 2021 and planning for how we can work with City of York Council, and our traders and businesses across the city to bring the Christmas market back.”  

Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said:  

“This is of course extremely disappointing, but public safety has to be at the heart of every decision.  And while the way we celebrate has to be a little different this year, York will always be magical at Christmas.  

The city’s fantastic businesses and responsible residents have already risen to the massive challenges of 2020. By continuing to work together we can protect the people and places we love while giving our residents and businesses a special festive season.” 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director of York BID said:

“There is still so much to enjoy in the city – the BID have started to install the 15km of lights which transform our beautiful city over the festive period, and our local businesses are making preparations to offer a quality festive experience in a safe and controlled environment. We hope that people will continue to support local businesses and soak up the unique atmosphere found in York at Christmas time.” 

Martin Bradnam, Chair Person of Hospitality Association York, said:

“I feel Make It York’s approach to the Christmas Market was bold and forward thinking in both supporting York as a tourism destination, but also local business from retail to hospitality. The planning was collaborative, and detailed and its approach with public safety as a core pillar was sensible. The could have been the only Christmas market in operation this year in the UK. Whilst it is really disappointing that the market has now been cancelled, this is in the interests of public safety and is the right thing to do, in line with current Government guidelines at the current time”

More information about York at Christmas can be found here: www.visityork.org/whats-on/christmas 

ENDS 


Notes to Editor 

Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment. 

One of Make It York’s strategic aims is to promote York as a brilliant place to do business, helping to support business growth and innovation across a range of business sectors, such as financial & professional services, rail and high value manufacturing and to stimulate greater inward investment. 

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