A “Festive Derby” treat for Christmas

Set to mark “300 years of innovation” next year, Derby has come up with a creative way to transform itself into an outdoors festive city for 2020, featuring Hip Hop Graffiti artists, street entertainment and a Covid-secure traditional Christmas Market.

Bringing city centre streets alive with festive fun, while avoiding large scale events to maintain social distancing and keep visitors safe, Derby has taken Christmas outside.

Visitors can follow two new city trails, enjoy music in a marquee and see a Dickens Classic get a makeover in an outdoor show performed within a riverside garden.

At the heart of celebrations will be the city’s new-look Derby Market Place, already a hit as a summer al fresco meeting-and-eating venue and an autumn outdoor events space.

Now Derby Market Place will become a festive hub hosting a continental-style Christmas market with international stalls selling crafts and gifts from around the world. And following on from its success as an al fresco eating venue, there will also be fresh hot food, from Greek stalls to Polish street food and Caribbean cuisine.

Adding an urban edge, the Market Place will be transformed with winter themed festive street art by some of the city’s top Graffiti artists, curated by Baby People, the UK’s first dedicated Hip Hop school which uses art and culture to engage communities.

With free entry, Covid-secure measures include limited capacity, with one group allowed in as one goes out; queue management; social distancing marshals and only one group (up to six, as permitted within current regulations) being allowed in front of each stall at a time. The event will be staged 27 November to 23 December.

An outdoor, ticketed show will also take up residence within the Market Place. Elf Encounter, an intimate, exclusive Christmas treat for groups of up to six, as permitted within current regulations, in an ‘elf-constructed’ wooden cabin with the Market Place (28 November to 23 December, £12 for up to 3, £24 for up to 6).

In the River Gardens – beside the River Derwent in the city centre – the Dickens Classic, A Christmas Carol, gets a makeover when the Lost Boys duo aim to play all the parts from the novel in 60 minutes. The show is in a marquee, with the audience allocated a ‘box’ for a group of up to four (17 to 23 December, £20 for up to 2, £40 for up to 4).

The Gardens will also be the venue for a merry mix of seasonal music from Grammy nominated and RPS award winning orchestra, the Sinfonia Viva’s brass quintet, featuring a special live performance from Derby Cathedral’s choir, on selected dates from 19 December (£20 for up to 2, £40 for up to 4).

Festive street entertainers will also be offering diverting, and sometimes cheeky routines, on selected dates from the end of November in the Market Place and on Cornmarket, while ice carvers will be displaying their skills within the city on 11- 12 December

Elsewhere, new city trails are Window Wonderland, seasonal window displays in shops and businesses, all featuring a festive rainbow to remember the NHS and key workers (from 14 November), and an Elf Trail, a chance to spot mischievous elves in shops and businesses around the city centre (27 November to 23 December).

For more information see www.visitderby.co.uk/festivederby

This year’s innovations around a COVID-safe Christmas reflect the city’s history of creativity. In 2021, Derby is set to mark the 300th anniversary of the world’s first factory, the Silk Mills within the city. And the city’s rich history of making will be celebrated still further when its £17m The Museum of Making finally opens on the Mills site next year.

For further information, check-out: https://www.visitderby.co.uk