By Max Kendix
The Durham Christmas Festival has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of the festival, which last year included a marquee on Palace Green, markets in Durham Cathedral’s cloisters, Market Place and Town Hall, as well as festive music and special seasonal events, have said that COVID-19 restrictions mean organisers and traders find it unrealistic to commit to the event.
The three days of the festival, launched in 1993, have become the busiest shopping days of the year in Durham City Centre.
“Christmas without Durham Christmas Festival just won’t be the same”Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets Company
Colin Wilkes, Managing Director of Durham Markets Company, which operates the festival with Durham University, commented: “It has been a very difficult decision but unfortunately too much uncertainty remains. Durham Christmas Festival will take a break for 2020, but we will be back in December 2021.
“For 26 years, Durham Christmas Festival has brought together hundreds of independent traders in the heart of Durham and welcomed 1000s of visitors into the city. For many, it has become the start of the festive season, with the annual Children’s Lantern Procession a particular favourite for families.
“We regret that we’re not able to provide our region’s independent traders with what is a very valuable trading opportunity for them. We hope that, as Christmas nears, everyone will look to support small businesses from around the region, and that the festival will return at the beginning of December 2021. Christmas without Durham Christmas Festival just won’t be the same.”
Image: Durham Christmas Festival’s Craft & Gift Marquee on Palace Green