Traders and shopkeepers in the historic Heritage Triangle area of Diss are joining forces this weekend for a special one-off festive market, in the hopes of creating a “real Christmas atmosphere”.
Following the St Nicholas Christmas Fayre which took place alongside the Christmas Lights Switch-On last month, shops in St Nicholas Street, Market Hill, Market Place, Norfolk House Yard and Cobbs Yard will stage what they are calling the ‘St Nicholas Christmas Experience’ - a day of Sunday trading from 10am to 3pm, along with music and entertainment.
In addition to the shops and cafés in the area enjoying a rare Sunday opening, around 30 different stalls are being set up to sell a variety of Christmas gifts, including cuisine, fashion, jewellery, crafts and vintage items.
Meanwhile, there will be music by the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band and street buskers The Pennyless Goasts, as well as face painting, and book signing events at Skincense and Fredricks Fine Foods.
John Atkinson, co-owner of Fredricks Fine Foods and spokesperson for the Heritage Traders group, told the Diss Express: “We believe that this could become a regular event every Christmas in this, the oldest part of Diss.
“When we did it around the lights, the footfall was really quite good. We thought this second day of trading would be a great idea.
“It’s a great way to celebrate all the hard work put in by local people, plus it is a chance to showcase all the wonderful individual shops we have here.”
Among the businesses participating are craft store Designmakers@21, iron mongers Larter and Ford, furniture restorers Barkers Basement, gold dealers Juels’ Limited, interior designers Rooms With A View, Fairchilds Tea Rooms, and many other vendors, whilst stallholders include the florists Doyles of London and pottery seller Lois Thurkettle.
Geraldine Leeder, of the Skincense Gift Shop in Norfolk House Yard, who is also involved in the organisation of the event, added: “It was such a success last year that customers have come in to ask us ‘are we going to do it again?’
“Last year, it was the equivalent of another Saturday’s trading. We are hoping to build on that. From the shops’ point of view, it’s worth doing.
“It’s a really traditional sort of Christmas fair. There’s a real mixture and there’s something to appeal to everyone.”
For a full run-down of the St Nicholas Christmas Experience go to www.fredricksfinefoods.com/st-nicholas-christmas.pdf