A huge Christmas market arrives for the first time on Folkestone seafront.
The city’s port arm will house around 20 makeshift huts, all with independent traders selling their wares this year.
The landmark is usually very popular during the summer months with live music and food stalls.
And it seems that the minds behind the tourist attraction change with the seasons.
Read more: The beautiful festive markets to visit this winter
Work has already started to build the log cabin style huts for launch next weekend.
And a large 28-foot Christmas tree should take center stage.
Organizers say the tree will be the same size as the one people see every year at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The market is meant to attract residents and visitors to the area, much like the port does on a hot summer day.
The last time the city saw something like this was in 2019, when a small market was set up in the city center grounds, outside the old Debenhams store.
Due to the pandemic, increasing infection rates and lockdowns, the event has not been replicated for 2020.
But what can we all expect from it this year?
Dates and times
The market will be mainly open on weekends, with the exception of December 23 and Christmas Eve both falling on Thursday and Friday.
Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 November
Saturday and Sunday December 4 and 5
Saturday and Sunday December 11 and 12
Saturday and Sunday December 18 and 19
Thursday and Friday 23 and 24 December
It will open from noon to 8 p.m. every weekend, with the exception of Christmas Eve where it will host from noon to 6 p.m.
What to expect
The market has been dubbed The Festive Marketplace and will connect to the neighboring Goods Yard.
According to the organizers, this will create a “beautifully lit festive environment”.
Goods Yard merchants will also add their own Christmas touch to their products for sale.
People will be able to find more vendors along the quays of the harbor station, under the cover of the glass canopies.
This is where the current general market takes place every Sunday.
Guests will be treated to live performances by choirs, Christmas tunes and a range of businesses from the region.
What will I be able to buy?
Buyers will be able to purchase festive wreaths and even their own real Christmas tree.
Children’s clothing, toys and books will also be on sale as well as an array of vivid and modern works of art.
Antique dealers and a company specializing in the manufacture of chocolates are also present.
People can also expect to collect candles and plants among pretty Christmas ornaments and baubles.
There will also be various stalls and places along the arm of the harbor to sell food and drink.
The huge Christmas tree
Families will also be able to admire the huge 28-foot Christmas tree in all its glory.
The organizers say, âWe are delighted to have this statement tree as the centerpiece of our event.
“At 28 feet tall, you will have seen trees similar to this one in major cities and sporting venues, St. Paul’s Cathedral to name just one.”
The branches of the tree will be illuminated with lights that will twinkle at sunset each day.
A special festive lighting will take place on the opening day of the market at 5 p.m. on November 27.
Address and parking
Approach road to the port,
The harbor arm has its own dedicated car park with automatic license plate recognition barriers.
People can just walk in, park, and pay on the way out instead of worrying about when their parking ticket runs out.
There are two parking meters on site, with contactless and cash payment options.
Customers can also pay using a QR code on their smartphone which redirects them to the Folkestone Harbor Arm website.
Payment can also be made there via ApplePay.
There is also very little street parking along the nearby Marine Parade and Stadium.
Marine Parade is subject to a parking fee by Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
A very small paid parking lot is also open at the end of Marine Parade and often serves Lower Leas Coastal Park.
The Stadium has a two-hour no-return restriction.
A pilot park-and-ride program that served the port in the summer is not working for the winter.