St Albans Christmas Market has been put under new management and moved to a different venue in a bit to make it ‘bigger and better than ever’, according to St Albans City and District Council. It was also be given later opening hours.
The revamp comes in response to feedback that the Council received about last year’s market, which was attended by over 100,000 people.
A consultation with visitors, traders and other interested groups indicated the public wanted a more visible and accessible site than the walled Vintry Gardens by the Cathedral.
They also wanted more entertainment, later opening hours, more chalets selling produce and more spaces for socialising.
Following this advice, the council has turned to events firm Meraki, which also runs a summer music festival in the District.
The plan is for the market to move to Verulamium Park, will run for three weeks leading up to Christmas and be open six days a week.
There will be late night opening until 11pm from Thursday to Saturday.
Additional attractions will include an ice bar, funfair rides, a high-tech Santa’s Grotto and a variety of live entertainment.
The initiative is dependent on Meraki gaining the required planning permissions from the Council.
Councillor Salih Gaygusuz, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business and the Community, said: “We have listened to what people want from the Christmas Market and acted on their demands.
“This year it will be bigger and better than ever with later opening hours among the new features.
“Vintry Gardens was a lovely setting, but the space was limited. By moving to the events meadow, we have a lot more room to expand into and yet are still very close to the City Centre.
“Meraki has huge experience in organising live entertainment, most notably their summer music festival, and I am sure they will make a huge success of this.”
The market will open on Friday 30 November and run until Saturday 22 December and the opening hours are: Tuesday 11:30am – 10pm; Wednesday 11am – 10pm; Thursday to Saturday 10am-11pm; Sunday 10am – 8pm.
Meraki is due to submit a detailed planning application shortly. This will include its proposals for car parking and encouraging the use of public transport to get to and from the site.