Harrogate Christmas Market closed today (18 November 2018) ta 5.30pm, following 4 successful days of strong trade for the stall-holders and many visitors.
The weather remained dry throughout and there was a steady stream of visitors, many arriving by coach from far-afield.
Undertaking a perhaps not very scientific analysis, the event has 70,000+ visitors and if they spend £15 per person, then that comfortably develops a million pound of trade – Christmas Markets are big business!
But speaking to the stall holders they will tell you that many visitors get off the coaches, have a quick look at the market, before heading to the town centre. They then spot the same faces as they come back from the town centre to spend at the market.
The event has faced some security challenges this year, which resulted in Montpellier being closed for all but coach traffic and a number of concrete blocks being placed over the Stray.
Organisers have vowed to come back next year, albeit with some changes in its management. Brian and Beryl Dunsby contribute a large amount of time to the event each year and want to take a small step back, while ensuring the event is run by the same group.
We spoke to many stall holders and they all talked about coming back year after year, making good sales, great organisation and lovely feel to the event. Locally it always creates debate around Montpellier being the most suitable location. This has been subject to a structured review that concluded it was (but we will come back to this in future news item). But let’s also keep in mind the market is non-profit making and contributes to local causes.
Congratulations to Brian Dunsby and his team in putting so much time and effort into making this happen once again.