After Christmas was cancelled last year it was with great gusto that people flocked to Stratford Upon Avon’s famous Victorian Christmas Market.
Since retailers and market stall holders were hit very hard by the Covid-19 lockdowns Stratford Upon Avon’s annual Christmas market was extended this year by one day; opening from the 9-12 of December. I visited on Thursday lunchtime and the market was beginning slowly but steadily. However, by Saturday lunch time it was full of festive cheer and people making their last outings before the comparative containment of working from home begins again.
The market was spread over many of the town’s streets, as can be seen from the map below. Stalls flanked the road up to the doors of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, and all the way to the very top of town, where there was also a small fun fair for all to enjoy. The fair comprised of a helter-skelter and a beautiful merry-go-round as well as some not so Victorian bumper cars and other more modern fun fair rides.
There was a main stage with singers and entertainers and, on Saturday, there were Morris dancers waving their traditional white hankies and performing in their wonderful costumes. Stilt men walked along the streets whilst juggling which entertained the crowd. A great number of the stall holders had entered into the spirit of things and were dressed in traditional Victorian attire.
There was an impressive range of food stalls by the canal basin and every conceivable market stall for inspirational present buying. The crowds certainly seemed to be enjoying their day despite some overcast and drizzly weather. People of all ages were out and many multi-generational families appeared to be shopping together and enjoying the whole affair.
As Stratford upon Avon has a largely tourist supported economy it was great to see so much support for the local market stallholders. Many people seemed very happy to visit Stratford Upon Avon again which is a great benefit to the local community. Here’s hoping that next Christmas it will be mask free and safe for all to enjoy comfortably. Perhaps we’ll see you here next year?
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