End of Christmas markets? Inside killjoy councils' plans to RENAME festive fairs in bid to save cash

Christmas market (stock)

Christmas festivities across the UK have been axed (stock)

PA
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop


Published: 04/12/2023

- 21:35

Lincoln Christmas Market has been cancelled for the first time in its 40-year run

Councils are facing a huge backlash for “cancelling Christmas” after traditional Christmas fairs and light switch ons have been scrapped across the country.

England’s oldest Christmas market in Lincoln has been scrapped this year after 2022’s edition saw a “significant risk to public safety”.


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Disgruntled punters described the fair as a “nightmare” and “claustrophobic simulator”.

Instead, City of Lincoln Council is putting on a range of festive activities across the city, such as an ice trail.

Ric Metcalfe, council leader said the decision had been made as the “current market has gotten way too big” and risked becoming “unsafe” in the future.

In Durham, Brighton and Felixstowe, their Christmas markets have been rebranded as “winter markets” in order to be more inclusive to those who do not celebrate.

CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED:

An image from a previous March Christmas lights eventAn image from a previous March Christmas lights eventMARCH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

In October, the Bowes Museum removed the word “Christmas” from its annual festive celebration, instead choosing to rebrand itself as a “Winter Market”.

The Bowes Museum – founded by the late ancestors of the late Queen Mother – has been criticised for its “bonkers” decision.

A museum has removed the word “Christmas” from its annual festive celebration, instead choosing to rebrand itself as a “Winter Market”.

The Bowes Museum – founded by the late ancestors of the late Queen Mother – has been criticised for its “bonkers” decision.

It has been alleged that the “woke” move has been done to pull in more punters.

Christmas light switch-ons have also fallen victim to council and event organisers’ cuts.

Large cities such as Sheffield and Manchester have cancelled their events, with both councils stating there is “no safe or suitable location” in the city centres for the celebrations.

Critics have slammed the plans, with many accusing the councils and event organisers of “cancelling Christmas”.

A Christmas market

Lincoln Christmas market was cancelled for the first time in its 40-year run

WikiCommons

MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney slammed the decision to cancel the UK’s oldest market, saying: “It doesn't seem rocket science to mitigate and ensure all aspects are catered for.”

After Bowes Museum announced its rebranding, BBC Antiques Road Trip expert David Harper has called for it to be reversed.

He said the museum is taking the joy out of Christmas.

“What's next? Are we going to cancel Santa, the reindeer, children wearing Christmas hats?” Harper told the Sun.

“Essentially, all you'll be left with is a Wednesday market. This won't stop until we stop it.

“We need to nip this in the bud, take control and be a bit braver.”

Braintree Council in Essex, who chose to not do a public Christmas light switch on this year, justified their decision to GB News.

They said: “Due to budgetary constraints and the cost-of-living crisis – we cannot support an official switch on and stage this year.

“We recognise this will be a disappointment to some, however the Council has taken the decision to prioritise our limited funding on delivering key services to residents. Instead, we are looking to promote our small independent businesses in the town with their own events and helping to encourage our residents and tourists to shop local.”

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