STRATFORD’S ever-popular Victorian Christmas Market promises to be bigger than ever to meet a rise in demand.
The festive market is returning for the first time since 2019 after the pandemic put a stop to last year’s event.
And, for the first time ever, this year’s market will be held as a four-day event to accommodate its ever-growing popularity.
Arden Hotel manager Josefine Blomqvist said the decision has already proved a hit, with the hotel now fully booked over that weekend thanks to market visitors.
Ms Blomqvist said: “The market has grown in popularity every year and we have seen a rise in demand for it this year, as reflected in our bookings.
“We’ve got market visitors booked in from Bournemouth to Brighton and they’ve told us they can’t wait to come back to Stratford and soak in the market atmosphere again.
“It’s always an event that gives the town a real buzz but it is a real testament to the town council to bring it back bigger and better this year.”
Stratford’s award-winning Christmas Market was first held in 2017, attracting around 58,000 visitors, but it has grown in popularity with some 125,000 market-goers flocking to the town in 2019.
This year’s event is held from Thursday, December 9 to Sunday December 12, promising around 300 stalls for Christmas shopping, food and drink, entertainment, and a traditional funfair.
Tourism spokesman for Stratford District Council Matt Jennings said: “We are delighted that the Victorian Market is back not only as it brings so many people into the town but it is also a sign that things have progressed since last year.
“It has become a major success in a short space of time thanks to the efforts of the town council, and the fact that our hospitality and tourism businesses are feeling the positive impact is great news after they have endured such a testing time.”