City of Lincoln Council is working hard to make final preparations ahead of the Lincoln Christmas Market, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Taking place for the 40th year from 1-4 December, the oldest traditional Christmas market in the UK will see over 150 stalls in the uphill area of the city, ranging from gifts and crafts, to local produce, food and drink. With an unrivalled setting in Lincoln’s historic centre, the market offers something for everyone.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of delicious food from the local area and abroad, find that perfect present among the unique gifts and homemade crafts and enjoy all the sights and smells of a traditional Christmas market.
From its humble beginnings as a traditional German Christmas market in 1982 with just 11 stalls, the market now welcomes visitors from across the world to get into the festive spirit, seeing over 270,000 people visit over the four-day event in 2021.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the market, a special midday opening event will take place at 12pm on 1 December, which will see celebrity guests including Jake Quickenden, Ian Waite and Kerry Katona from New Theatre Royal’s 2022 Pantomime Cinderella, alongside the Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Lincoln Cllr Rosanne Kirk and Neustadt Oberburgermeister and community spirits to open the event.
During this time, a host of entertainment will be available for visitors to enjoy to launch the 40th anniversary including festive music from BBC Radio Lincolnshire as they walk around and stilt walkers on the entrance.
The traditional official opening will take place at 6pm outside Lincoln Cathedral following a special evensong and will include words from the Mayor of Lincoln and the Dean of the Cathedral.
A number of new elements to the market are also being launched this year including a stage element, which will see performances from musicians, choirs and theatre groups throughout the weekend.
A new member of the team has also been introduced. Bailey the Polar Bear is the new Guardian of the Lincoln Christmas Market and can be found around the market and on emergency contact wristbands, which are available from the Park & Ride and from stewards dotted around the market.
Visitors can purchase their very own Bailey bear from the Lincoln Visitor Information Centre, which has also launched a new print designed by Lincoln artist Mel Langton, which depicts the Lincoln Christmas Market over the last 40 years.
St Barnabas Hospice, which also celebrates a 40th anniversary in 2022, has been announced as the first ever official Charity Partner for the Lincoln Christmas Market and will have a stall by the Tree of Life outside Lincoln Cathedral.
BBC Radio Lincolnshire will also be bringing something very different to the 2022 market – for Dr Who fans, a real Dalek will be around saying hello to those who pass it! And for Strictly Come Dancing fans, visitors will have the opportunity to see the 2010 winning dress, which was worn by actress Kara Tointon.
Simon Colburn, Assistant Director for Health and Environmental Services at City of Lincoln Council and Event Commander for the Christmas Market said: “We are delighted to see the Christmas market return to the city for the 40th year.
“We are confident this year will be a great event and will bring not only bring Christmas cheer to the city but will also bring financial benefits to many businesses in the Uphill area and across the city.
“This event has been in planning for well over a year now, and we continue to work with partners including Lincolnshire Police, Public Health and Emergency Planning to ensure a safe event.
“We look forward to welcoming both residents and visitors.”
Cllr Neil Murray, Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economic Growth at City of Lincoln Council added: “I am proud to welcome visitors back to this milestone Christmas Market.
“As someone who has visited the market since its launch in 1982, I am honoured to celebrate the market’s achievements over the years.
“We have a number of new elements to this years market to offer something truly for everyone and I am excited to welcome visitors to what I am sure will be the best market yet!
“I’d also encourage our visitors to support Small Business Saturday on December 3.
“Lincoln is fortunate to boast a huge number of high quality, independent shops and small businesses, which welcome customers all year round.”
Natalie Hayes-Cowley, Artistic Director at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln and producer of their Cinderella pantomime said: "There's one thing we love in the run up to panto season, and that's the Christmas Market!
“It's great for the local economy and helps get everyone into the festive mood. Our panto cast and theatre family always love taking a trip to the market and I know Kerry, Jake, and Ian are really looking forward to being at the opening this year."
Visitors arriving by car can take advantage of a specially commissioned park and ride service, which will be based at Lincolnshire Showground (LN2 2NA).
Park and Ride can be pre-booked, with the price capped at £12 for those booking in advance, which is available until 30 November.
To find out more about Lincoln Christmas Market and to pre-book the Park and Ride service, visit Lincoln-christmasmarket.co.uk.