Countdown to Christmas with Festive Derby

Published: 15 December 2020

Baby people Christmas mural

Local street artists from Baby People have been decorating the market.

With just days to go until Christmas Day, Festive Derby will be sparkling in the background, helping to make the city a safe and enjoyable place to be while buying those last-minute gifts.

Derby Market Place will be the scene for six days of trading by artists and makers for the Make & Trade Market, curated by Mainframe. Open from 10am to 4pm from Friday 18 to Wednesday 23 December, the market is the ideal opportunity to support local creatives and browse and buy some unique gifts.

Stalls are subject to change, but expect to discover ceramics, handmade stationery, textiles, delicious food gifts, Derbyshire-made gin, jewellery, and much more, sold from festively-lit wooden chalets. Take time to appreciate the seasonal artwork around the market by local street artists, curated by Baby People. Enjoy hot drinks and sweet treats served by The QUAD Café, and delicious hot snacks from The Tasty Trotter. For more information see the Visit Derby website.

Based at QUAD, Mainframe is an initiative that aims to bring together a community of digital and creative businesses across Derby and Derbyshire, and is part of the Big House project supporting the creative community.

Hana York and Charlene Sharp from Mainframe said: “We are so pleased to be able to support the local creative community though Mainframe and the Make & Trade Christmas Market. It’s been a tough year for creative businesses and it’s wonderful to give our makers and creators the opportunity to show the people of Derby their fabulous crafts. Thanks to Derby City Council and Festive Derby everyone can shop local for Christmas in a safe and fun way in the heart of the city.”

Following a successful two weekends of trading, visitors to the market are asked to continue to play their part and do the right thing for Derby by following the one-way system in place, using the hand sanitiser provided and following social distancing. Although it’s an outdoor venue we recommend that you wear a face covering if you can. Please be mindful of the general Government guidance for Tier 3, and visit only with members of your household and/or bubble, in a group of no more than six.

There will be staff to help regulate the number of people in the market at any one time, and to assist with social distancing. Stalls will accept contactless card payments and toilets will be regularly cleaned. For a full list of all the precautions in place, visit the Derby Live website.

The stalls on offer at the market will complement the shopping on offer in the city centre streets, where the Christmas window displays in the Window Wonderland Trail will be looking their very best ready for judging later this week. You can vote for your favourite on the Visit Derby website by Wednesday 16 December. Next to the market is the seasonally decorated Victorian Market Hall, with its own independent traders, and one of two Art Installations created especially for Festive Derby by artists working with Banks Mill and the University of Derby. The other is outside Derby Museum and Art Gallery on The Strand.

Younger visitors can follow the Elf Trail by looking out for the elves stencilled onto pavements, and for elf stickers in shop window. How many can you spot?

The Elf Trail leads to Elf Encounter, Babbling Vagabonds’ 15-min show in an elf-made cabin in the Market Place. This intimate theatrical show is for just one household and / or bubble of up to six people. There is very limited availability for Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 December, and two BSL interpreted performances remaining for Sunday 18 December. Alternatively, watch the digital version of the show in your own home as many times as you like until Saturday 2 January. For details and prices see the Derby Live website.

In Cathedral Square, the Ice Sculptures created last weekend will remain on display for as long as nature allows.  Inside the Cathedral is the Tree of Light, a Christmas Tree hung with messages of love, hope or memory to mark this special time of year. Write something to add to the tree, or go to the Derby Cathedral website to send it online, and help fill the tree with messages.

Around the city, watch out for street performers An Act Above’s Christmas Belles on Sat 19 Dec, Musical Ruth goes Jingle Jangle on Sunday 20 December, Circii’s Lairy Christmas Fairy and the Magic Christmas Puddings on Monday 21 December, Artemis’ Jacks of Frost on Tuesday 22 December, and Reckless Invention’s Bad Santas on Wednesday 23 December. Create your own souvenir of this Christmas by taking a photo at one of our Selfie Boards at The Spot, Market Place, or East Street (outside Millets), and share it with us on social media with #FestiveDerby.

As dusk approaches, enjoy the Christmas Trees, lights and illuminations lighting up the city. Look out for the snowflakes sweeping across the square and onto buildings in Derby Market Place, and the festive projections onto Derby Cathedral Tower by the TECH:SQUAD at QUAD from 5pm to 9pm each evening.

Councillor Robin Wood, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: So far, visitors to the city centre have shown a lot of seasonal goodwill towards each other by playing their part and following the guidance. When I went myself to the Market Place and Market Hall, I found everyone very cheerful and welcoming. As we get closer to Christmas it is even more important that we follow the rules. We may not be able to celebrate in the usual way, but there is a lot to enjoy in Derby city centre as long as we continue to do so safely.”

Derby City Council, Derby Museums, Derby Cathedral, Derby Theatre, Sinfonia Viva, Quad, Cathedral Quarter and St Peter’s Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and Derby Centre are among the partners involved in bringing Christmas to the city. Smooth Radio is Festive Derby’s media partner. For a full list of what’s on offer for Festive Derby, see the Visit Derby website.

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