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Five facts you (probably) don’t know about one of the biggest festive events in Newcastle…

We caught up with Operations Manager, Gemma Nugent, as she puts the final preparations in place for this weekend's Festive Fayre at St James' Park - an event which is now one of the most anticipated regional Christmas events in our festive calendars

Written by High Life North
Published 14.11.2019

Now in its fourth year, Festive Fayre is getting bigger every Christmas – how did it start?

It actually started as part of an apprentice-style management competition at St James’ Park four years ago. Four managers developed a different event and we were judged on its success. It was just a bit of fun really to help generate new event ideas, but Festive Fayre proved hugely popular and is the only event from that competition which now runs every year. 

What can people expect?

A huge range of stalls from local businesses showcasing their products – from food and drink to crafts, decorations, homemade gifts and more. It’s fantastic to have so many independent businesses under one roof. It’s great because our visitors can pick up gifts and decorations that are unique and can’t be found on the High Street. There is also a Children’s Zone packed with festive activities and the chance to meet Santa in one of our magical Grottos. 

5 facts you probably don’t know about Festive Fayre

Preparation starts for next year the day after the event finishes – by the time the event comes around it has been a very long time in the making! We work hard from the first day after the event to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the following year. There is a huge amount of work to do – we want to make sure that we have a wide variety of interesting and high-quality vendors for our visitors, as well as planning all of the family events such as the Grotto’s and festive film screenings 

We raise a lot for charity – last year our team raised enough money for the NUFC Fans Foodbank to provide 67,000 meals for those most in need within the North East, a large amount of that money was generated by our kind visitors of Festive Fayre. 

Santa gets the chance to see a lot of children – at our 2018 event, we granted the Christmas wishes of around 600 children in our magical Santa’s Grottos. 

We support and showcase local businesses – this year we will welcome our biggest ever amount of local exhibitors to the event. 160 talented exhibitors will be showcasing their products. 

The films are a sell-out – we have been so pleased with the response to our festive film screenings and have had to add more time slots to accommodate demand. We’ll be joined by 1320 guests for six sold-out film screenings. 

Free ticket for HLN readers

Festive Fayre will take place at St James’ Park on:

Saturday 16 November 

Sunday 17 November 

Advance tickets are £3.00 per adult or £5.00 on the door. All children go free. 


*The ticket can be printed at home or shown on a mobile phone.
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