Kirkby Lonsdale’s Christmas Market attracted the biggest footfall in the town since the hey day of the famous Victorian Fair a decade ago. In an event delivered almost entirely by volunteers the town attracted huge crowds from all over the North West and beyond. Thousands of people lined the streets for the weekend’s Parades as well as filling the chalet village in the market square and the many indoor events offered in the town’s churches and church halls. A capacity crowd in the Lunesdale Hall for the biggest craft market the venue has staged for many years also boosted visitor numbers. The evening market on Friday had a unique atmosphere as visitors wandered though the market under star lit skies.
For the first time this year live musical performances across the town were scheduled to ensure that visitors were drawn to all areas - not just the Market Square. From choirs in St Mary’s Church to Acapella groups, buskers, street organs, brass duets and even a Ukulele band - there was something for everyone. Local dance groups staged their own displays and with performances by the Brass Band, Pipers and even a vintage car rally the challenge for the organisers will be to top this performance next year.
‘It was staggering to see how many people came,’ said Sarah Ross. “We know that Kirkby Lonsdale is a much loved destination at this time of year, but it was clear that many people are turning away from the very big commercialised City offerings. They want to be part of something that is a reflection of our community. Most of the market stalls were selling handmade items produced within 50 miles of here and of course all the entertainment talent was very local too! We’re so grateful that all these performers/stall holders, organisers and volunteers helped to make the event such a success.”
Robin Sadler, Chairman of the town’s Chamber of Trade, said his members had had a successful weekend ‘We are delighted to have been able to provide an event that allowed families to explore the town and all it has to offer. We have worked hard to ensure that the weekend was original and different. Feedback was that we succeeded.’