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Bigger, better, brighter and louder!


Retford Christmas Market & Lights Switch-On 2022Bigger, better, brighter and louder!

29 November 2022

The organisers promised the “biggest and best” Retford Christmas Market & Lights Switch-On ever, and they were right! Sunday 27th November saw non-stop entertainment from beginning to end, not only in the Market Square but along Carolgate as well, and people of all ages came out to take part.

Retford Town Hall was filled with craft stalls in the Ballroom, Council Chamber and Buttermarket, where the WI did their usual excellent job of providing refreshments. Retford Lions brought Santa into the square at 12 noon and provided him with a grotto to meet an enthusiastic number of young people throughout the afternoon. Santa’s Little Helper was drawn by Retford Mayor, Sue Shaw, and he went on to light up the town, ably assisted by his sister.

The stage did not stop delivering from the time of the service at 10.30am, organised by Churches Together in Retford. The Elizabethan Academy, The Sods, Majestic Theatre School, Blue Ice Cheerleaders, The Performance Hub, LCSD Dance Academy, Katy Patchett with Jo Jingles, Jessica Mary Brett, and the Pantomime Dame provided the entertainment. The Civic ceremony included speeches by Cllr Madelaine Richardson, Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, Cllr Sue Shaw, Mayor of Retford, and a blessing from Revd Julie Coates, Superintendent Minister, Trinity Methodist Circuit. The lights were switched on by Santa and his Little Helper, followed by a banging performance from top Slade-tribute band Slyde who played through until 5.45pm, and the event closed at 6.00pm.

The Grove held its Star Festival and featured the Worksop Salvation Army Band, while the Christmas Tree Festival at St Swithun’s proved a popular destination with eighty-two trees on display.

Hannah Harris sang beautifully at The Grove and at Retford Town Hall during the afternoon – the Worksop Miners Welfare Band played as part of the Civic Ceremony, and Revd Alex Shiells, Vicar of Ordsall & Retford St Michael, joined Revd Julie Coates in giving the blessing.

Rattlejag Morris, The Fairly Famous Family Theatre, a giant ‘reindeer,’ a circus workshop, a barrel organ, and the Stormtroopers all provided great street entertainment on the Market Square and Carolgate.

Wonderland Bookshop opened the day with a queue for book signings from authors Hannah Gold and Lydia Monks, who even did some great artwork on the store’s window.

Retford Business Forum, in partnership with North Notts BID, supported by Bassetlaw District Council and Retford Lions, organised the event and were delighted by the number of compliments they have received …and have already had enquiries for next year’s event, provisionally set for Sunday 26th November 2023.

The next Retford Big Market Day is on Saturday 17th December 2022, when Santa will be there in his grotto and a “top shelf elf” will wander about wishing people a Merry Christmas.