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To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the opening day of the Christmas market with a special programme of free events and activities for residents and visitors.

From 12pm to 9pm on Thursday 17th November, there will be live entertainment in St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market to get everybody in the festive spirit. There’ll be choirs, bands and performances throughout the day and into the evening. Plus, an opportunity to meet St Nicholas himself at Shambles Market.

Those in the city centre on the evening of the 17th November, celebrating the opening of St Nicholas Fair, will be the first to see the spectacular light display for the 2022 festive season. This year will see more lights, new technology and new areas added to the scheme.

A partnership between York BID and Make It York, this year’s winter light display will increase the use of more sustainable LED and solar lights, with new areas to be lit up including George Hudson Street and Nessgate. The curtain of lights on York’s historic bar walls will remain, along with the magical ‘Tree of Light’ at the Eye of York with its 1km of twinkly LED lights which change colour to mark important dates and festivals.

What’s more, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, all traders at this year’s Christmas market will be offering exclusive discounts for York residents when presented with a valid York Card or identity card with proof of address*. Each trader will offer a discount ranging from 10 to 30% discounts, more details can be found here.

The full schedule of free events on Thursday 17th November to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair:

Shambles Market

12.00 - 19.00: Meet St Nicholas!

Suitable for families and children. Learn more about who St Nicholas is and was, all about the naughty list and enjoy some chocolate coins!

13.00: Musical Connections

Join Musical Connections for a special performance. A small charity based in York, empowering people to live happier and healthier lives through music.

St Helen’s Square

12.00: Dunnington Community Choir

Enjoy festive music, performed by local singers.

13.00 - 15.00: Buskers

15.00 - 18.00: York Theatre Royal

Look out for the York Theatre Royal nativity characters, handing out flyers and doing competitions.

16.00: Musical Connections – The Rolling Tones

Join Musical Connections’ The Rolling Tones for a special performance. A small charity based in York, empowering people to live happier and healthier lives through music.

17.00: University of York Brass Band

A selection of classic Christmas carols to get you into the festive mood!

18.00: Lucy’s Pop Choir

A choir performance from grown-ups who love singing!

18.00 - 20.00: The Island

Meet the York-based children’s charity as they fundraise to enhance children’s quality of life through mentoring.

19.00: York Phoenix Harmonies

Join York’s Newest Vocal Harmony Group for a special performance of Christmas carols.

Parliament Street (next to the Christmas Tree)

12.00 - 17.00: Buskers

18.00: York RI Golden Band

6 to 10 players performing Christmas Carols.

19.00: Larks Christmas Band

Lively vintage Christmas performance in full costume.

20.00: Olivia Tingle

An unapologetically authentic duo playing a classy mixture of anthemic covers and soft sympathetic originals. Not to be missed!

Christmas cheer will be spread across the city, with carol concerts, festive events and the return of panto season. For more information about what’s happening in York this Christmas, please visit

Visit York’s festive press pack can be found here and press images can be downloaded here.

*To qualify for the resident discounts offered by traders at St Nicholas Fair, you must present a valid York Card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state 'York' (e.g. driving licence or older person's bus pass). The full list of offers can be found here.


For further information please contact:

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer

Communications team at Make It York


Notes to Editors:

St Nicholas Fair runs from 17th November to 23rd December on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, open daily from 10am to 7pm. St Nicholas Fair is a Make It York event.

About Make It York

Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand.

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.