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Christmas markets, a lantern parade and free workshops: more festive fun at Stockton Sparkles

28 November 2023
A grid image showing images of Stories with Santa, the lantern parade and the Christmas markets

A grid image showing images of Stories with Santa, the lantern parade and the Christmas markets
Montage of Stockton Sparkles photos including Santa, the lantern parade and markets

Christmas Markets, stories with Santa and the return of the popular Lantern Parade - the festive celebrations continue with a host of Stockton Sparkles activities to enjoy this weekend.

Gifts and treats at the Christmas Markets

Pick up the perfect festive gift at our Christmas Markets from Thursday, 30 November until Sunday, 3 December.

There will be 23 festive cabins on Stockton High Street with a range of local traders selling gifts such as handmade candles, fine wine and cheese, artwork and Christmas decorations.

And there will be a variety of food and drink on offer, including cakes, pastries, pies and more!

The markets will be open from 10am to 4pm on Thursday (30 November), Friday (1 December) and Saturday (2 December), and from 11am to 5pm on Sunday (3 December).

This year's traders include:

  • Tasty Tarts - cakes, bakes and tasty tarts.
  • Three Brothers Brewing Company - award-winning beers brewed in the heart of Teesside.
  • Happy Paws Bakery - hand-baked delicious dog treats.
  • Festive Gift Shop - a range of Christmas gifts and decorations.
  • Rose Country Wines - friendly family run business of unique homemade fine wines with over 40 years' experience.
  • Planty Dropper Art - botanical artist and maker; vibrant, chic artwork that brings a little life and colour to your space.
  • Butterflies Florist - florist working with the quirky to the traditional, the simple to the extraordinary.
  • Blueberry Hill Preserves - artisan chutneys, preserves and cheeses.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit Luncheon Club - pastries and pies from a unique Great Ayton-based Café.
  • SLICE - Detroit and Neapolitan style pizza pop-up.
  • The Seahorse Coffee Box - mulled wine, spiced cider, boozey irish coffees and the best hot chocolates ever!
  • Wilks Candle Creations - hand-poured soy wax candles.
  • LOV Resin - handmade resin crafts.
  • Bakes and Treats - homemade chocolates; lollies, bon bon, slabs, hot chocolate bombs and fresh cheesecakes.
  • The Gingerbread Mam - ginger themed food and drink business.
  • Little Lilybug Creations - maker of kawaii felt décor and hair accessories.
  • Jess McGowan Design - award winning illustrator and surface pattern designer.
  • Sip & Sugar - delicious cookies and cookie bars.
  • Menu World Cuisine - African cuisine.
  • Community Based Options - Christmas gifts and goodies made as part of Stockton-on-Tees Community Based Options activities.
  • The Community Gift - donate and support the Community Gift, and write your Christmas wishes.
  • Community Partnerships - a range of rotating Stockton-on-Tees based community groups and fundraisers.

Stories with Santa

Pop into our festive tipi with your little ones for a magical story time with the big guy himself! Enjoy some Christmas classics read by Santa on Thursday, 30 November and Friday, 1 December.

The free sessions are British Sign Language-friendly and there'll be an opportunity for children to meet Santa after each performance.

There will be sessions on Thursday, 30 November at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.20pm, 2,20pm and 3.20pm.

Sessions with a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter present will be held on Friday, 1 December at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2.20pm and 3.20pm.

All sessions are free but ticketed. Early bird tickets are available by calling the Enjoy Stockton-on-Tees shop on 01642 528130.

Activity workshops

Join the talented artists from New Leaf for a festive mini candle pot workshop in the High Street tipi.

This is a ticketed workshop with limited spaces.

Workshops take place on Saturday, 2 December at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm.

Early bird tickets are available by calling the Enjoy Stockton-on-Tees shop on 01642 528130. Tickets will also be available on the day from Enjoy Stockton-on-Tees shop from 9.30am onwards, 30 minutes before each timeslot.

You can also pop into the wooden cabins on the High Street on Sunday, 3 December for some fun activity workshops between 1pm and 4pm.

Have your face painted with glitter, make Christmas cards with artist Dawn Evans, or make your own Eco Reindeer Dust for Rudolph and his friends. No tickets are needed for these workshops.

Return of the popular Lantern Parade

The ever-popular Illuminated Lantern Parade returns at 4pm on Sunday (3 December).

Come along and watch Santa and his elves lead the parade down Stockton High Street with local schoolchildren and community groups.

This year's theme of 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland' will feature dazzling costumes and lanterns by artists Morwenna Catt, Adele Catchpole and Jane Bizimana, alongside street theatre, Christmas music and a live band performance.

The Sparkle Scene will provide free glitter face paint and the Christmas market will run until 5pm, providing the perfect opportunity for some evening shopping.

What do Councillors think?

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture, said: "There's plenty of Stockton Sparkles action still to come with free activity workshops taking place throughout this weekend and our much-loved Illuminated Lantern Parade happening on Sunday.

"The Christmas Markets will be on Stockton High Street too so come down to experience this magical event and make a day of it with your loved ones."

Where can I park during Stockton Sparkles?

We are expecting high demand for car parking spaces, however, there are more than 1,000 parking spaces in Stockton, including the Riverside car park and Wellington Square car park. Visit the car parking page of the Council's website for a full list and a downloadable map.

Some road closures will also be in place, including the High Street, for the Lantern Parade (3 December). This will affect bus stops so visit the Connect Tees Valley website to find the best options for your journey.

For more information on Stockton Sparkles, go to the Visit Tees Valley website.

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