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Christmas plans for St Albans District

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The Christmas Cracker event to launch the festive season in St Albans District is to be turned into a virtual experience because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Normally, crowds of more than 12,000 throng the City Centre for a six-hour-long street party that culminates in the switching on of the Christmas lights.

The public health emergency with its rule of six has prevented such a large gathering this year.

St Albans City and District Council which organises the event has decided to reimagine it online so that Christmas can still be celebrated by the community.

The internet alternative will include festive music from local performers, workshops on making sustainable decorations and children’s stories.

There will also be exciting competitions as well as tips from the District’s top chefs on how to make festive dishes and cocktails.

The focus for the Online Christmas Cracker will be the Enjoy St Albans website with more details appearing there in the weeks ahead:

One event that can still be held is the Charter Christmas Market which will be in operation every day instead of just twice a week from Saturday 12 December to Christmas Eve.

Regular traders will be selling a vast range of produce including fruit and veg, takeaway food and drink, clothes, toys and novelty gifts.

There will also be some opportunities for new traders offering special seasonal products to hire a stall.

St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) and a number of other partners are also organising a host of Christmas events.

These include plans to decorate the City with lights, trees and animations while urging people to Shop Safely and Shop Local.

St Albans BID is organising a Christmas Trail, Santa Post Boxes and Pop-Up markets from Monday 30 November.

They will again be working with a local Foodbank, Herts Young Homeless and other not-for-profits and charities to help those in need during the Christmas period.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, said:

Our focus this year will be raising funds and awareness for charities.

Christmas is going to be tough for everyone but coming together as a community, whether online or on the ground, to help others is what St Albans does best and our community engagement team are working hard to support a compassionate community-focused Christmas 

 We also want to ensure that there is still a great festive atmosphere in the City Centre during the festive season and that we can still celebrate Christmas.

“We will be encouraging people to continue to shop and dine out locally to support our high street and our businesses which do so much for the local economy, providing many hundreds of jobs.

Councillor contact:  
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture: 07584 198999,

Contact for the media: 
John McJannet,
Principal Communications Officer,
Tel: 01727 819533