Downtown for the Holidays gets revamped

A mock photo of fireworks and lights outside Covent Garden Market. CREDIT: COURTESY OF COVENT GARDEN MARKET
This year is dubbed a "December to remember" because as the COVID restrictions remain lifted, there is more opportunity to get out and enjoy the time of year.

Downtown for the Holidays, the annual holiday festivities that take place in downtown London, has gotten a little bit of a revamp this year. The traditional lighting of the lights at Victoria Park is taking place, along with markets, and a new outdoor portion at the Covent Garden Market.

“It was important with the addition of Santa’s House, having that outside, just to create a Christmas feel as well as inside,” said Amy Shackleton, General Manager and CEO of Covent Garden Market.

This outdoor portion will include horse-drawn carriage rides, a full entertainment lineup, food, vendors, free hot chocolate, and of course, a big Christmas tree in the middle of it all to top it off.

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“We hope to make this an annual event from here on out so we’ll see how things go this year.”

This year is dubbed a “December to remember” because as the COVID restrictions remain lifted, there is more opportunity to get out and enjoy the time of year.

“I’m personally excited for Santa’s house. I’m excited to bring my kids here just to see all the light installations we have, LED swings, and of course, shopping from our local businesses here in London.”

Downtown for the Holidays also gave Fanshawe students some more practical work experience. All of the market huts were made by students.

“In the early stages, we wanted to build these market huts and we wanted our community to be a part of it. So, we reached out to Fanshawe College and Steve Crema said he could add this into his curriculum.”

The students built six huts in total.

“Fanshawe is our neighbour. They’re right here in downtown, so why not celebrate the people all around us?”

New Year’s Eve in the park is also returning to London this year, after a two-year hiatus. Victoria Park will be filled with fireworks, free outdoor skating, live music, and other entertainment.

“All of these free holiday events are being coordinated together this year as part of a larger campaign to support the vibrancy of downtown,” said Ryan Craven, Manager of Core Area Programs at the City of London. “By working together with our community partners, we hope to provide a memorable and exciting holiday experience for everyone and support economic recovery throughout the month of December.”

For a complete breakdown of all the events happening throughout the holiday season, it can be found on the Covent Garden Market website’s event page.