Feeling festive? First Christmas Market planned for Ripon

Christmas lights shine out in Ripon. (S)
Christmas lights shine out in Ripon. (S)

It may only be September but Ripon is already getting into the festive spirit with plans for a Christmas Market in the city well underway.

After noticing a gap in the market, Ripon resident Gaynor Gray floated the idea of introducing a Christmas Market on Facebook and the plan snowballed.

Soon, Gaynor was inundated with willing Christmas elves, all eager to help put her plan of a festive market in the city into action.

And now, the first Ripon Christmas Market is due to be held on November 28 and Gaynor revealed that the theme for this year would be pantomime.

She said: “We haven’t had a Christmas market since I moved here and I have always thought it would be nice to have one in the city, but the difficulty is getting the roads closed.

“However, I then spoke to a couple of Ripon councillors who said they would be able to get Kirkgate closed for it. I announced the news on Facebook and now I have become the lead person for it.

“I want one end of Kirkgate to be a stage and the pantomimes will have about 15 minutes to do their performances. I have contacted pantomime groups in the area but still waiting to hear back from some.”

The Christmas market will also boast pantomime themed stalls, including Cinderella’s Slipper Store, as well as an array of people decked in fancy dress.

Gaynor explained that, while the Market will just be down Kirkgate this year, she hopes that money raised from the event will help to expand the market’s size in the future.

She said: “If we can keep it small and make it an annual event then hopefully we can make it bigger for next year.

“We have never done anything like this before and we don’t know what we’re doing but we know if we don’t it won’t go ahead which would be really sad.

“I think this would be great for Ripon, it would attract people to the city there’s so many nice things about Ripon but there’s not a lot of places in the centre to go to.

“When people do come to the centre, they say it’s such a beautiful city but it would be even better to get some more tourists in and make it a real attraction.

“I’m really excited for this, if everything comes together it will be amazing.”