Market towns begin big push for Christmas

Harleston Christmas Market.

Harleston Christmas Market.

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Traders in Diss and Harleston have been urged to think big for the upcoming festive season, as South Norfolk Council commences preparations for the Christmas rush.

The Market Towns Initiative has this month launched its Christmas Campaign, in which local businesses introduce special promotions, host festive events and create seasonal window displays, to take advantage of the increased Christmas shopping footfall.

The district council has also confirmed its free parking scheme, which has taken place in years past, will return to Diss for all shoppers visiting the town on each Saturday throughout December.

Lisa Vincent, South Norfolk Council’s Market Towns Co-ordinator, said: “For Christmas 2016, we would like to create a really festive atmosphere in each of the towns on these days, with activities such as carol singing, festive food stalls and possibly even a Santa town crier.

“Together, let’s make the South Norfolk Market Towns a very special Christmas experience for all the family this December.”

All shops taking part in the campaign are also being automatically entered into a new Retailer Award – ‘Best Christmas Experience’ – which will be presented at the Independent Retailers Awards ceremony in March 2017. Chosen by South Norfolk Council and the local Town Teams, the award will be judged on criteria like internal decoration, successful promotion to customers and the level of ‘festive cheer’.

Both towns are already gearing up for their annual Christmas Lights Switch-On events, which are supported by the Market Towns.

Diss will light up its streets during an evening of entertainment on Saturday, November 26, while Harleston is set to flick its switch on Saturday, December 3, following on from the Christmas Street Market earlier in the day.

For further details about Christmas events in South Norfolk Market Towns, go to www.south-norfolk.gov.uk