Image: Coventry Telegraph

Countdown to Christmas under way in Coventry city centre

Christmas festivities are now under way in Coventry city centre, including Christmas lights and a Christmas market.

On 13 November, hundreds of people, including Coventry’s Lord Mayor, gathered for the countdown to the lights being turned on in Broadgate. The event was presented by BBC CWR, with a performance by the ‘Stray Santas’ band taking place prior to the lights being switched on.

The switch-on kicked off the Coventry Christmas Market, which will run from 18 November 2023 to 7 January 2024 in the city centre.

There are 24 stalls in total, which is over twice as many as last year.

The market also has a greater variety of offerings as compared to last time around, including souvenirs, desserts, drinks, and hot food like bratwursts, Yorkshire pudding wraps, and chicken noodles.

The Christmas market can be accessed from Warwick’s campus by the 12X bus and is three minutes away from the ‘Magistrates Court’ bus stop

A staff member of a stall selling soft candles said it was the first time they had attended a street market since their online shop was opened three months ago.

She told The Boar: “We are excited because a Christmas market is different. We can face the customers face-to-face and it is bigger.

“People outside of Coventry may also come, so it helps us advertise.”

There is also an illuminated wheel, which is over 100ft tall, at the centre of the Christmas market, replacing last year’s ice rink.

A father, who rode the wheel with his daughter, said that they enjoyed the ride and he was surprised that his daughter was not scared by the structure’s height.

A mother, who visited the market and toasted marshmallows with her family, also said that they liked the market.

However, she preferred the Christmas market which took place along Coventry’s Upper Precinct last year.

She said: “They used to have all the stalls going down the slope and it was more spacious.”

Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for City Services, announced that, starting this month, parking in Council-run car parks in the city centre will be free on Wednesdays from 3pm onwards. She noted: “It can be an expensive time for people so hopefully this helps a little bit and means people can come and enjoy the lights and other festivities without paying for the cost of parking.”

The Christmas market can be accessed from Warwick’s campus by the 12X bus and is three minutes away from the ‘Magistrates Court’ bus stop.


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