Organisers opened bookings at the end of the day on Thursday, May 1 and were stunned to have received their first completed application by the following morning. Within the two weeks, 50 applications have been received – an impressive 25 per cent of the 200 trader places available.
Brian Dunsby, who leads the organising committee along with his wife, Beryl, said: We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of traders to our announcement that Harrogate Christmas Market would go ahead again this year.
Traders at events like this are naturally inclined to book quite close to the time – they want to see who else will be there, and decide which Christmas Markets they will attend and which will not suit them.
The fact that so many have already applied shows how popular and successful Harrogate Christmas Market has become in just two years. Many of these traders have taken part in the past and have done very well, so we have been getting requests for early booking since the moment the 2013 event ended!
It’s great to be able to begin taking bookings and to see the 2014 Harrogate Christmas Market starting to take shape already.
The 2013 Harrogate Christmas Market attracted an estimated 40,000 visitors, who not only browsed the stalls and marquees but also visited the shops, restaurants, cafés and hotels elsewhere in the town.
This year’s event, from Thursday, November 27 to Sunday, November 30, is expected to be just as popular, with an increased number of trader spaces available and more space being used.
In addition to the 50 applications well over 100 enquiries have been received from potential new traders hoping to secure a stall at this popular market, so the organisers are being very selective about the origin, diversity and quality of the products offered for sale.
Mr Dunsby warned that the early popularity may mean that anyone who leaves booking until later in the year will be disappointed: We are very keen to make Harrogate Christmas Market unique, by offering a good mix of Harrogate and Yorkshire products.
We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who offers hand-made, locally-produced gifts, crafts, Christmas decorations or food and drink.
If any businesses from around the region are thinking of joining us this year, we strongly recommend they get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.