York's Christmas fair to run for three weeks

Cllr Sonja Crisp with winners of the Best Dressed Traders, Most Festive Stall and Best Dressed Stall at last year’s fair

Cllr Sonja Crisp with winners of the Best Dressed Traders, Most Festive Stall and Best Dressed Stall at last year’s fair

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by

PLANS for this year's pre-Christmas shopping period in York have been announced with an overhaul of the popular St Nicholas Fair.

The city centre fair will extend over three weeks from the end of November until December 21 - a big extension on the four-day weekend the fair has previous lasted.

The announcement came from Cllr Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, yesterday.

Cllr Crisp said: "St Nicholas Fair is firmly established as the most popular shopping event in York and last year we saw record footfall in the city centre in this period. With high quality Christmas markets on offer for the month before Christmas, we have decided to extend the St Nicholas Fair brand to that period so shoppers can enjoy an even better experience by having almost four weeks to visit, rather than just one long weekend.

"The Fair is a major contributor to the city’s economy, to the city’s diverse retail and events offer."

A council spokesman said the plans aimed to "ring the changes" in the Christmas events in the city, and is appealing for traders interested in taking a stall at the St Nicholas Fair to be in touch by the deadline this month.

The overhaul will also include increased marketing and promotion and a special grand opening weekend across the city centre, the council's plans say.

And the market will include themed weeks of speciality stalls featuring food, sparkles and toys.

As usual, wooden huts will line Parliament Street with a traditional carousel in St Sampson’s Square.

The main markets will, be complemented by others taking place across the city including the daily Newgate Market, the Made in Yorkshire art and craft market at the Guildhall, the Medieval Market at Barley Hall and an Arts and Crafts market at St William’s College.

St Nicholas Fair will be open daily from 9am until 6pm daily. Any additional traders wanting to take part are invited to make expressions of interest by 31 May to City of York Council’s Market Office on 01904 551355 or email york-markets@york.gov.uk

Comments (12)

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12:08pm Sat 24 May 14

beermeup says...

Oh joy, extra weeks of people walking round in circles buying tat!
Oh joy, extra weeks of people walking round in circles buying tat! beermeup
  • Score: -13

12:24pm Sat 24 May 14

amike says...

So what happens to all the traders who do several fairs like Lincoln as well as York. I don't think that they will see the value in being tied in one place for three weeks.

Sadly the fair will probably lose some of it's uniqueness.
So what happens to all the traders who do several fairs like Lincoln as well as York. I don't think that they will see the value in being tied in one place for three weeks. Sadly the fair will probably lose some of it's uniqueness. amike
  • Score: -16

12:31pm Sat 24 May 14

MouseHouse says...

THREE WEEKS!

I may go away for the duration...
THREE WEEKS! I may go away for the duration... MouseHouse
  • Score: -15

12:36pm Sat 24 May 14

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

Lets hope that someone has done the research on this.

The success of a 4 day event is driven by the compressed time period (limited availability = demand). Put simply my one visit can now be on any of 21 days rather than 4 last year. No rush then, smooth the demand and dilute the success over a longer time period, paid for by the stall holders.

Tell us where a 5 fold increase in footfall distributed over 21 days is coming from, who has calculated the demand. It is not as simple as extrapolation of 4 days data applied to 21 days.
Lets hope that someone has done the research on this. The success of a 4 day event is driven by the compressed time period (limited availability = demand). Put simply my one visit can now be on any of 21 days rather than 4 last year. No rush then, smooth the demand and dilute the success over a longer time period, paid for by the stall holders. Tell us where a 5 fold increase in footfall distributed over 21 days is coming from, who has calculated the demand. It is not as simple as extrapolation of 4 days data applied to 21 days. YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: -38

1:01pm Sat 24 May 14

Alf Garnett says...

Safunny thing that most German markets run for the entire Advent period (otherwise known as the run up to Christmas), often several in fairly close proximity in larger cities. They do this presumably not because of a desire to suffer financial hardship but because it makes business sense.
Safunny thing that most German markets run for the entire Advent period (otherwise known as the run up to Christmas), often several in fairly close proximity in larger cities. They do this presumably not because of a desire to suffer financial hardship but because it makes business sense. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 58

2:10pm Sat 24 May 14

Older Sometimes Wiser says...

Yet another decision made by Councilor(s) unable to understand that what York needs is innovative value marketing and NOT a longer period selling overpriced tat to tourists! The overall impression of St Nicholas Fair reduces rather than improves the image of York, and I suspect will deter and irritate local residents too.
The huts are badly designed, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities ( dangerous steps etc). Goods are usually overpriced and available cheaper elsewhere. This is not a good decision, roll on the May 2015 Elections.
Yet another decision made by Councilor(s) unable to understand that what York needs is innovative value marketing and NOT a longer period selling overpriced tat to tourists! The overall impression of St Nicholas Fair reduces rather than improves the image of York, and I suspect will deter and irritate local residents too. The huts are badly designed, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities ( dangerous steps etc). Goods are usually overpriced and available cheaper elsewhere. This is not a good decision, roll on the May 2015 Elections. Older Sometimes Wiser
  • Score: -32

2:45pm Sat 24 May 14

purelobo says...

crisp is really clueless and i wonder how she is qualified to do this job.surely she can see that just because an event is successful over 4 days doesn t mean that it will thrive over 3 weeks.greed and desperation spring to mind.
crisp is really clueless and i wonder how she is qualified to do this job.surely she can see that just because an event is successful over 4 days doesn t mean that it will thrive over 3 weeks.greed and desperation spring to mind. purelobo
  • Score: -47

3:02pm Sat 24 May 14

eeoodares says...

Bring more people into the City! It has my backing, times have been hard and the extra boost will be a great help to local businesses.
Bring more people into the City! It has my backing, times have been hard and the extra boost will be a great help to local businesses. eeoodares
  • Score: 21

3:33pm Sat 24 May 14

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

Heres another obvious, St Nicholas Fair is not a Brand it is a Metonymy.
Heres another obvious, St Nicholas Fair is not a Brand it is a Metonymy. YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: -56

4:18pm Sat 24 May 14

Alf Garnett says...

Older Sometimes Wiser wrote:
Yet another decision made by Councilor(s) unable to understand that what York needs is innovative value marketing and NOT a longer period selling overpriced tat to tourists! The overall impression of St Nicholas Fair reduces rather than improves the image of York, and I suspect will deter and irritate local residents too.
The huts are badly designed, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities ( dangerous steps etc). Goods are usually overpriced and available cheaper elsewhere. This is not a good decision, roll on the May 2015 Elections.
Presumably the prices are not subject to council control, despite the myth perpetrated on this site that they are Marxists. As for selling tat, there must be a demand for it otherwise customers wouldn't keep coming back. Anyway, all markets have a mix of quality and tat. Discriminating consumers presumably buy whatever appeals to their pocket and taste. Anyway, well done to the usual council-knockers. The vituperation is increasingly amusing in direct proportion to its lack of relevance to what really goes on in the city.
[quote][p][bold]Older Sometimes Wiser[/bold] wrote: Yet another decision made by Councilor(s) unable to understand that what York needs is innovative value marketing and NOT a longer period selling overpriced tat to tourists! The overall impression of St Nicholas Fair reduces rather than improves the image of York, and I suspect will deter and irritate local residents too. The huts are badly designed, inaccessible to those with physical disabilities ( dangerous steps etc). Goods are usually overpriced and available cheaper elsewhere. This is not a good decision, roll on the May 2015 Elections.[/p][/quote]Presumably the prices are not subject to council control, despite the myth perpetrated on this site that they are Marxists. As for selling tat, there must be a demand for it otherwise customers wouldn't keep coming back. Anyway, all markets have a mix of quality and tat. Discriminating consumers presumably buy whatever appeals to their pocket and taste. Anyway, well done to the usual council-knockers. The vituperation is increasingly amusing in direct proportion to its lack of relevance to what really goes on in the city. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 98

10:41pm Sat 24 May 14

malonemalone says...

Xmas Joy and Deck the Halls with Xmas Tat and wooden carvings and badly knitted jumpers!
Xmas Joy and Deck the Halls with Xmas Tat and wooden carvings and badly knitted jumpers! malonemalone
  • Score: -17

4:00pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Just_My_Twopenneth says...

So once again, the local 'everyday' York market traders (Newgate Market), are shown that the real interest is to hold an increasing number of specialist event markets on Parliament St.

The council are 'quids-in' as they get rent from both; which is the ulterior motive to run over a longer timeframe of 21 days (instead of 4 days) and don't give a stuff about traders from the Event market or the local market.

Besides no more trade will come to York simply because of the extended 'Event' market, as mostly it's only advertised in/around York.

I mean in 2014, when folks are getting their goods/products and doing their gift-seeking and ordering via the internet... (proof is in annual year-on-year figures, talk to Amazon! amongst many others)... can you really see folks coming to York from the likes of towns/cities outside North Yorkshire, to go to a 'market'??? The councillor for Tourism (Sonja Crisp) surely doesn't believe this either? but it's additional income, at ~£150/day (rent) for the Event market on Parliament St, the council are laughing.

I like the comment by 'YOUWILLDOASISAY' who mentioned that just because 4 days 'worked?' previously, doesn't mean that this will extrapolate to a success over 21 days.

Just because it's now 21 days, it doesn't mean that 5 times as much will be taken (by the traders) over the new period/schedule.

If you are councillor for Tourism, Surely (with a capital 'S') you KNOW, that folks visit York to see it's history, because of the Vikings connection, Jorvik, The Castle, The Gardens, because it was the former capital, The Minster, it's stone and cobbled streets, the Shambles, it's Train Museum, Betty's, Cliffords Tower,The Shambles, The Bar Walls, it's many pubs (especially Stag & Hen Do's), folks aren't visiting because of a bloody well 'Event' market, sure they may pass it by whilst they are in the city, but it doesn't mean that the visitors money (budgeted, when travelling) is suddenly going to be splashed out on market goods! Get Real.

I guess the councillor for Tourism needs to do something though, as York clearly wouldn't get ANY visitors without such a position!
So once again, the local 'everyday' York market traders (Newgate Market), are shown that the real interest is to hold an increasing number of specialist event markets on Parliament St. The council are 'quids-in' as they get rent from both; which is the ulterior motive to run over a longer timeframe of 21 days (instead of 4 days) and don't give a stuff about traders from the Event market or the local market. Besides no more trade will come to York simply because of the extended 'Event' market, as mostly it's only advertised in/around York. I mean in 2014, when folks are getting their goods/products and doing their gift-seeking and ordering via the internet... (proof is in annual year-on-year figures, talk to Amazon! amongst many others)... can you really see folks coming to York from the likes of towns/cities outside North Yorkshire, to go to a 'market'??? The councillor for Tourism (Sonja Crisp) surely doesn't believe this either? but it's additional income, at ~£150/day (rent) for the Event market on Parliament St, the council are laughing. I like the comment by 'YOUWILLDOASISAY' who mentioned that just because 4 days 'worked?' previously, doesn't mean that this will extrapolate to a success over 21 days. Just because it's now 21 days, it doesn't mean that 5 times as much will be taken (by the traders) over the new period/schedule. If you are councillor for Tourism, Surely (with a capital 'S') you KNOW, that folks visit York to see it's history, because of the Vikings connection, Jorvik, The Castle, The Gardens, because it was the former capital, The Minster, it's stone and cobbled streets, the Shambles, it's Train Museum, Betty's, Cliffords Tower,The Shambles, The Bar Walls, it's many pubs (especially Stag & Hen Do's), folks aren't visiting because of a bloody well 'Event' market, sure they may pass it by whilst they are in the city, but it doesn't mean that the visitors money (budgeted, when travelling) is suddenly going to be splashed out on market goods! Get Real. I guess the councillor for Tourism needs to do something though, as York clearly wouldn't get ANY visitors without such a position! Just_My_Twopenneth
  • Score: 1

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