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Home   /   Christmas Special: Brighton’s festive season kicks off – Valley Gardens opens Christmas fair to locals, free of charge!

Last year’s Christmas celebrations may have been put on hold, due to regions in England being placed into tiers and forced into a lockdown. However, one year on, the Brighton and Hove City Council have opened up a Christmas festival on the Valley Gardens – across the road from the Brighton Pavilion.

The festival is free to enter for the public and hosts festive markets, food trucks and even have a Santa’s grotto, with the man himself for the younger ones. Having finally opened for the first time on November 26th, the market will run through the entirety of December, before packing up and closing for another year on Friday, December 31st.

Last week, I went to visit the festival and managed to catch up with one of the market sellers, an employee of Brighton Themed Christmas Jumpers, with her face painted as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, I asked her what exactly makes a Brighton Christmas so special?

She expressed her delight that the area was being put to good use, she said: “It is nice that they are making use of the green space as it has been out of order for quite a while”. When asked if she believed that this year’s Christmas would be better in comparison to last year’s, she said: “It will definitely be better than last year, it is nice to have an outdoor space for the people who are worried”. Finally, I asked her to capture and put into words, for what makes Brighton Christmases that extra bit special. To which she replied: “Everyone is quite open and accepting… so it’ll be nice and bright here”. This epitomises that the jolly atmosphere throughout this festive period is exactly why Brighton’s Christmases are so special.

As I walked through the Valley Gardens, it was clear to see that everyone was beginning to get into the Christmas spirit. All market owners were talkative, warm and welcoming, despite the freezing cold temperatures. The fair helped create the feeling of a close community, which we have all been missing throughout the pandemic. The happy contagious smiles spread across the festival, through the finger numbing breezy fresh air.

Of course, we had to pay the irresistible “German Sausages” food truck a visit. The smell. The mouth watering looks. I just had to buy one….. SEVEN POUNDS? For a hot dog? Unlike myself, fellow students Josh and Will were willing to take the plunge and pay the fee. They both really enjoyed their food and were satisfied with their purchase. The markets are satisfied, the people are satisfied. Good business all round.

I seriously recommend you all to visit the Christmas Fair at the Valley Gardens, it is free to enter and walk around. The feel good atmosphere of the markets and the community is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Come on down and enjoy your Christmas, you will find some gorgeous food and you may even find that present you’re missing for a loved one. What is there not to love within this festive community? After last years was cancelled, Christmas season is finally back in Brighton, and there is no place better to be. Merry Christmas.

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June 2024