Nearly twelve months have passed since the events team at Exeter Cathedral took on the running of the popular Christmas Market for the first time. In this blog Cressida Peers (Events and Christmas Market Manager) gives an early insight into what’s back, and what’s changed.
In 2017 we worked hard (in partnership with local contractors and traders) to deliver a market that has become a popular feature in the region’s seasonal calendar, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors into the city and onto Cathedral Green.
Since the lights of the market went dark in December, and the wooden chalets went into storage in the Devon countryside, we have been busy working behind the scenes to build on the success of last year’s event, and put together plans for this year’s Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, which will open in around six weeks on Thursday 15thNovember 2018.
The ‘food village’ to the north of the Cathedral is back by popular demand, with many traders applying to return for another year as well as some new faces. We have also looked to expand the number of craft and gift stalls for this year, with around 90 stalls in total expected to open in November (including six chalets that are being shared on a fortnightly rotation by businesses from In Exeter). You’ll have to watch this space for full details of the traders, which will be released during the coming weeks.
Whilst the layout of the market will largely remain the same, there are some small changes due to the ongoing building work in Cathedral Yard. We have also taken the opportunity to widen one of the more popular routes within the market to try and make access better for visitors, as well as retaining the ramps along the steps that lead down to the ‘west front’ of the Cathedral itself.
Last year’s rustic tavern on the Cathedral Green, with its busy covered seating area, was a great success, and we’re proud that the bar (operated by local company The Oddfellows) picked up a well-deserved Exeter Living Award at the ceremony earlier this year. We have also listened to your feedback and are delighted to announce that this year there will also be another drinks outlet you visitors can buy mulled wine, mulled cider and last year’s popular mulled apple gin (the recipe is still secret!) to take with you as you explore the market – all adding to the Christmas experience!
Finally, it’s time to announce the competition to perform on the bandstand at the opening night of the Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market. Once again we are looking for the best of Devon’s musical talent to perform to shoppers at the start of the market, and we want YOU to apply. All you have to do is email [email protected] with a link to a video of yourself, your band or your group, and we’ll choose our favourites in time for the launch night. We’re also accepting applications to play on the bandstand at other times during the market.
Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market opens on Thursday 15thNovember at 18.00 and is open daily up to and including Sunday 16th December. The market will then be dismantled to allow for final preparations to be made for the busy Christmas services on the 24thand 25thDecember, which thousands of people attend each year.
15th November: 18.00-21.00
Monday to Wednesday: 10.00-19.00
Thursday to Saturday: 10.00-21.00