Frome plans bumper Christmas shopping weekend for town centre
By This is Somerset | Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 07:00
Frome's town centre will help visitors get into the Christmas spirit when it hosts a festive weekend spectacular on December 1 and 2.
The first Saturday of December will play host to the annual Frome Extravaganza, followed a day later by a bumper Christmas super market.
"It's a grand event designed for everyone," said Peter Wheelhouse, economic development and regeneration manager at Frome Town Council.
"Frome's Festive Weekend provides the opportunity for the town to celebrate and attract more visitors.
"We hope that combining the events will make them more enjoyable for local residents, and more profitable for local businesses."
Father Christmas and his reindeer will kick off proceedings on Saturday, December 1, in his grotto, based in the Westway precinct.
There will also be Christmas crafts and charity market stalls in the precinct, alongside a barbecue and refreshments provided by the Scouts and St John's School.
A magician will provide children's entertainment in the library at 5pm, when the stage in the town centre will come to life with performances from local groups and schools.
The town centre's Christmas lights will be turned on by the mayor at 6.30pm, followed by carols led by Frome Area Christians Together, and Frome Town Youth Band.
There will be late night shopping in Frome until 8pm on Saturday evening.
Sunday, December 2, will see the return of the popular Frome Super Market, with a new free park-and-ride service.
All of the markets will be open from 10am to 2pm, with the Artisan and Flea markets staying open until 4pm.
The town centre will be closed to through traffic from 6am, while the high street is transformed into an open-air market.
"We've had more yet more interest from traders for December's super market" added Mr Wheelhouse.
"The event has become so popular that it will now sprawl across a wider area of the town centre. To help make it easier for people travelling to and from the markets, we have introduced a new park-and-ride scheme."
Additional free parking will be available at the Frome showfield, the football club and the leisure centre, with shuttle buses running between these and the town centre from 9.30am to 2.30pm.
Overflow parking will be available on the south side of town at the Health Centre and Memorial Theatre.
The new park-and-ride initiative and additional parking are expected to provide a further 350 spaces for the markets. Free parking will also be available in the usual town centre car parks (South Parade car park is permit only).
The super market's stalls will once again line the breadth of the town – starting at the top of Catherine Hill and running down onto the Market Cross area, along the precinct across the bridge and onto the Market Yard car park.