One of the country’s biggest festive events gets under way at noon tomorrow in Bury St Edmunds, the town’s annual Christmas fayre.
The three day event, now in its ninth year, boosts the local economy by an estimated £1 million and is expected to attract around 100,000 people.
Families visiting can expect to come across buskers, street theatre, jugglers, stilt walkers and Morris dancers while browsing the hundreds of stalls set up across the town centre.
Greene King and Music Sales have sponsored two large stages on Angel Hill and at the arc. They will feature jazz, blues, folk, rock, carols and Christmas music.
The Abbey Gardens will be a draw for youngsters with reindeer and Santa in his grotto as well as a magic show and a new attraction this year, a snow dome, which will be creating a winter wonderland.
The Abbey Gardens Friends will be among stalls exhibiting, offering locally-produced and low priced Christmas items from near the Abbey model.
At Moyse’s Hall Museum, stall holders will be dressed in costume for the historical market, while the Cornhill and Buttermarket provisions market will take place tomorrow, for the first time, as well as on Saturday.
On Sunday, there will be a special farmers’ market showcasing locally produced and locally sourced food and drink.
Tomorrow, between 1-3pm, Cllr Paul Farmer will play Christmas carols and seasonal pop music on the piano in the first floor of the Apex.
The living nativity scene will return near the cathedral, while among stalls and refreshments in St Mary’s Church will be a working model tramway exhibition.
The Santa run for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices will set off from the arc at 10am on Sunday.
The town will be busy and, as well as the usual park and ride service, there will be extra parking at the Greene King car park off Cullum Road.
There will also be incentives for people travelling by train or bus and a special Sunday bus service from the housing estates and outskirts of town.
Some road closures will remain in place until Sunday, including on Angel Hill, Angel Lane and in Hatter Street.
There will also be no overnight parking tomorrow night in the Buttermarket and Cornhill.
For information on the fayre and full details of closures and travel services, go to www.burystedmundschristmasfay re.co.uk