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York Has Christmas All Wrapped Up


5:52am 15th August 2014

York is launching a festive programme for 2014, set to place the city as the top destination in the UK for a Christmas break.  Activities will run from November right through to Christmas; all part of a new St Nicholas Christmas Festival.
This year will see a step change in York’s offer, where for the first time the popular St Nicholas Fair, organised by City of York Council in Parliament street, will run for a full 25 days from Thursday 27th November through to Sunday 21 December.  In addition to this a host of festive events at York’s visitor attractions, as well as the daily Newgate market, Made in Yorkshire Festive Fayre at the medieval Guildhall and the Festive Market at Barley Hall will all go to make up York’s new St Nicholas Christmas Festival programme. 
Meanwhile just outside of the city, traditional baubles, trees, wreaths, garlands and flickering candles will transform 18th century Castle Howard into a truly magical place, where you’ll create Christmas memories to last a lifetime.
Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, said:

"Visitors will be able to experience everything from a Georgian Christmas at Fairfax House to a fireside audience with Father Christmas at Castle Howard.  We’re delighted that for the first time ever, the popular St Nicholas Fair will run throughout the whole Christmas season, meaning visitors can shop at the wooden market stalls as well as visiting the city’s visitor attractions right up to the Christmas week."
York’s attractions will be offering a variety of Christmas treats alongside a unique collection of independent shops and boutiques, pantomimes and a festive atmosphere, which in recent years has heralded York as Britain’s most Christmassy city.  And new for this year, as part of York CHOCOLATE Story’s ‘WWI: A Taste of Home’ exhibition, visitors can discover the role played by chocolate at Christmas in the trenches. 
Meanwhile at York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and the most visited cathedral in England, visitors can enjoy seasonal  services to celebrate the true Christmas message.
Snug wooden huts with pretty lights will line Parliament Street, with a traditional carousel in St Sampson’s Square.  Adding to the festive atmosphere, stall holders on Parliament Street will be dressed in Dickensian costume, selling jewellery, ceramics, Yorkshire produce such as wines and cheeses, as well as locally crafted gifts such as jewellery made from Whitby jet.  And at York Designer Outlet, not only will you find your favourite brands, there is also fun for the whole family at Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, including the award-winning Ice Factor rink, funfair and Santa’s grotto open from 21st November.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said:"

"York’s festive spirit is second to none, and there’s nowhere quite like it to shop, eat and experience Christmas at its very best with markets, festivals, concerts, pantomimes and entertainment. By extending the St Nicholas Fair to run throughout December and launching this new St Nicholas Festival, we can offer visitors an even better Christmas programme than ever before."
Visitors come to York in their thousands over the Christmas period.  Visit York, working with City of York Council, is preparing early to ensure a successful Christmas period for all tourism businesses in the city.  The York Christmas guide will be available from the Visit York Information Centre at 1 Museum Street from mid-October.  To request your free Guide to Christmas in York or find out more information telephone the Visitor Information Centre on 01904 550099, email info@visityork.org or check out the website www.visityork.org/christmas from mid-October

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