More than 17,000 people enjoyed North End Road’s biggest ever traffic-free Christmas market last Saturday. The street was packed with 170 stalls offering a huge range of Christmas presents, food and drink. Live entertainment created a carnival atmosphere.
“Since our first traffic-free market in North End Road in December 2014, we’ve built what has to be the largest Christmas street market in London, if not the country,” said Ben Coleman, Cabinet Member for Resident Satisfaction. “My thanks to all the residents who’ve worked so hard with the council to create this success.”
Made in Chelsea star Georgia “Toff” Toffolo joined in the fun to switch on the road’s Christmas lights.
“We’re so lucky to have this market”, said Georgia, “I live just around the corner and I come three to four times a week to pick up my fruit and veg but when we get the road closed and have a day like today it’s really special.”
Watch our video clip of the event:
Musical entertainment included ZHL String Ensemble, Timeless, Lyra, Kloak and Enne. Children were delighted to see Father Christmas. And street entertainers, including a walking Christmas tree, reindeers and stilt walkers, raised laughs as they wandered up and down North End Road.
Neil of Just another Slice cakes said he’d done a fantastic day’s business.
“The Christmas Market has been great,” he said. “Lots and lots of people, a great atmosphere and the weather’s been on our side.
“My favourite part of the day was when the classical music band, the ZHL String Ensemble, played right next to us and created a really good atmosphere.”
There were a wide range of traders, including Celestina Rose Jewellery, Insane Clothing featuring hand-drawn designs, Home at Christmas who sold festive decorations, as well as a range of charities and other organisations.
Jude, who lives in Racton Road, Fulham, said, “I love North End Road’s Christmas markets. It’s really nice and buzzy and the entertainment is great.”
Sir John Lillie Primary School took a stall to sell bags hand-painted by pupils with North End Road-inspired designs. “It’s a brilliant opportunity for the community to get together,” said teacher Andrea Thompson. “It’s been lovely having children, teachers and staff out being part of the community.”
“The demand from residents and stallholders now means we’re looking at doing four traffic-free markets next year”, said Cllr Coleman.
In late 2014, councillors brought stallholders and businesses together in the North End Road Action Group (NERAG). Since then, the council has been working closely with NERAG to renew and strengthen North End Road as a shopping destination.