Christmas to get off to a cracking start with festive markets

Stamford Christmas lights switch on.  The crowd in Red Lion Square.'Photo: MSMP301112-074ow
Stamford Christmas lights switch on. The crowd in Red Lion Square.'Photo: MSMP301112-074ow

Christmas will get off to a fantastic start this weekend with festive events in Bourne and Stamford.

Tomorrow, Bourne will host a festive street market, which takes place from midday in North Street, the Market Place and at Bourne Corn Exchange.

As well as stalls, there will also be fairground rides outside Wake House and The Angel Hotel, entertainment outside Bourne Town Hall in the Market Place, ranging from school choirs to a performance by the Salvation Army brass band and a live nativity.

Bourne mayor David Higgs and Santa will join forces to switch on the town’s lights at 4.30pm outside the Town Hall.

Many shops will also stay open until 7pm with staff entering the spirit of the event by dressing in traditional Dickensian costumes and holding special promotions and in-store competitions.

Stamford town centre will be filled with about 80 stalls lining Ironmonger Street and High Street in Stamford on Sunday and there will be plenty of activities in Red Lion Square. There will also be face painting, Shetland ponies to meet and a small funfair in Sheep Market.

The festivities will begin at 10am and will culminate with the lights being switched on at 4pm at the town’s Christmas tree in Red Lion Square. The honour of turning the lights will fall to Stamford mayor Brian Sumner as school children sing Christmas carols.

In addition retailers from St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Hill have teamed up for extra late night shopping events. The first was last night and they will repeat it on Thursday, December 12, when more than 40 shops on the two streets and the nearby lanes will stay open until 8pm.

Stores in St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Hill will also be entering their customers into a raffle on both nights to win a hamper of gifts from the streets’ retailers. Tickets will be drawn at 8pm in Paradise Found on St Mary’s Street.

On Saturday, December 7, many businesses in the town will be giving one-day only offers as part of the Love Stamford loyalty card scheme. To find out more visit

And the Deeping Shopping Centre has also launched a Christmas competition for youngsters, which runs until December 15, and challenges children to find snowmen in shop windows. Once they have found them all, they can tell staff at Paper Kisses and the name and contact number of a parent to be in with a chance of winning a gift hamper.

Oakham will also hold its late-night shopping event on Monday, December 9, which will run from 4pm to 9pm. There will be an outdoor market, carol singing, Santa, hot food stalls, cookery demonstrations, street entertainers, stilt walkers, fire eaters and music acts. The events will take place in Market Place, North Street car park, Church Street and High Street. There will also be a farmers market in Gaol Street.

Shops in Uppingham will be open until 9pm on Thursday.

Activities will be held in the town, including a fair in Market Place and stalls in the town hall. The late-night shopping event has been organised by Uppingham Town Partnership.