[A] Cumbrian market with Christmas and German flair held in Windermere has been hailed a massive success after over four thousand people visited the town. “Windermere Ja” exceeded the expectations of organisers and traders in the town with shopkeepers recording the busiest trading day in 30 years.
The Community Christmas Celebration was organised by a team comprising of Windermere Tourist Information Centre, Made in Cumbria, Mountain Goat Tours and Windermere Councillor Ben Berry.
Event Director Kate Barton of Windermere Tourist Information commented on the success saying: “We couldnt have done this without the kind support and hard work of our volunteers from Windermere TIC and Mountain Goat. I’d also like to thank our wonderful sponsors, especially South Lakeland Tourism Partnership, who put money on the table to make our vision of this fantastic event a reality.”
Stall holders lined Victoria and High Street showcasing local produce and craft. Especially endearing was the support from Windermere businesses, both new and established, taking stalls to promote their wares. The large smiling crowds were entertained throughout the weekend by local performers including Burneside Brass Band, Windermere and Bowness Community Choir and Fiona Hanlon, as well as live events such as cookery demonstrations from McClures.
The event was officially opened with a ribbon cutting by Windermere Councillor Ben Berry and Windermere Mayor Keith Hallatsch. Ben commented on the community effort saying:
“A Christmas Market has been on the wish list of residents a long time and I’m very proud to be involved in helping to deliver such a successful event. I would like to thank everyone who has given us support, especially local residents and businesses.”
Stall holders were pleasantly surprised at the support for the event with one seasoned operator reporting the need to get more gluhwein at 2.30pm on the Saturday having used up the stock that would usually service a full weekend at Birmingham Christmas Market.
Windermere Shopkeeper Anthony Dean of Windermere Wine Stores praised Windermere Ja saying “This event gave us the busiest trading day in 30 years! It was brilliant, well done to all the committee. It was so well organised and brought thousands of extra shoppers to our lovely village, I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.”
Windermere Ja was kindly supported by Windermere Lake Cruises, Windermere Tourist Information Centre, McClures, Mountain Goat Tours, Lamplighters Dining Rooms, Rayrigg Motors, Conservative Councillor Ben Berry, Badger Press, Simpsons & Parsons, The Belsfield Hotel, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria Tourism, The Crafty Baa, Lingmoor Guest House and Lakeland Radio.
The Windermere Ja team have commissioned a full economic impact and look forward to publishing the results.