Christmas Markets on the continent have been around for decades, and over the past few years they have taken off in the UK.
Local coach companies now run day trips to places like Lincoln and Birmingham, and St Albans,
Whilst Aylesbury could not sustain such an event at the moment, it is gaining a good reputation for Christmas festivities.
The town has a buzz, and is full of yuletide cheer, with carols playing in the shops, and the Rotary Santa floats visiting the outlying estates and villages.
The restaurants and pubs are full of company parties, with colleagues donning paper hats and tucking into their first Christmas dinner, completely forgetting the boss is present!
The festivities begin with the switching on of the Christmas lights, and is quickly followed by the arrival of ‘Santa’ in a parade. Whoever thought of these two events should get some praise. Not only do they bring joy and good spirits to the town residents, but they also boost the local economy. They draw people in from surrounding villages, and on these days the pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops enjoy booming trade.
The festivities don’t stop there. They are followed by a Sunday Christmas Craft Market and the Mayor’s carol concert. Local schools and churches have their own Christmas bazaars, which all add to the feel good factor, and Waterside Theatre also contributes with their pantomime, which draws in the crowds from near and far. .
Then just as we are getting into the swing of things, elf’n safety rears it’s head. On Saturday ‘moderate’ winds were forecast, and it was deemed by the Town Council risk assessors that a 20mph wind was too strong for marquees in Market Square. Unfortunately, ‘fresh’ winds were forecast for Sunday, so the planned Christmas market and carol concert were held indoors. For years Aylesbury has enjoyed a traditional open air carol concert in Market Square. I can’t recall it ever being cancelled due to wind, snow, rain or heat wave! It’s things like this that make you realise that Aylesbury could not stage a continental style Christmas market for fear of seasonal snow, despite us all dreaming of a White Christmas!