Festive Derby is full of the traditional Christmas Trees and lights – but look a little more closely and you will find some unusual seasonal sights to enjoy.
Derby City Council has joined with QUAD to bring some new lighting illuminations to the city. Visitors to Derby Market Place may have already spotted snowflake illuminations sweeping across the square and onto the walls of the Guildhall during the day and into the evening, thanks to the technical team at Derby LIVE. And from Tue 8 Dec, the spirit of Christmas will light up the landmark Derby Cathedral Tower.
QUAD’s in-house technical team, TECH:SQUAD, are producing and engaging an innovative light spectacular on the iconic Derby Cathedral tower, celebrating Festive Derby. Using hi-tech projectors, a light show will be projected onto the clock face and surrounding area of the tower from 5pm to 9pm each evening.
Dr Alex Rock, QUAD’s Head of Technical and Commercial Services, said: "It has been a number of years since QUAD produced a projection mapping show on Derby Cathedral's tower, and we're delighted to work alongside our partners Derby City Council to produce a winter spectacular as part of Festive Derby. The projection is vibrant, and a great reminder of the power of digital technology to engage and inspire."
The second Festive Market runs from Thu 10 to Sun 13 Dec in Derby Market Place, for some unique Christmas presents produced and sold by local businesses. Wooden chalets decorated with lights make up the stalls for the market, which is free to enter. Before you go in, take a look at the hoardings around them, which have been decorated with seasonal street art by local artists curated by Baby People. Trading hours are 10am to 4pm. Warming hot drinks, cakes and sweet treats will be served by the QUAD café, while The Tipsy Trotter will sell mouth-watering Turkey Rolls and Brie with Cranberry rolls and Project D will be selling their renowned, delicious doughnuts.
From the Market Place, it’s just a short walk under the Guildhall arches to meet the independent traders and enjoy the seasonal atmosphere and displays inside Derby Market Hall. Open from Mon to Sat, 9am to 5pm, the Market Hall is COVID safe and packed with great gift ideas and fresh produce, from fabulous footwear, butchers and bikes, to fishmongers, flowers, fruit and veg. For more information, see derbymarkethall.co.uk. This is also where you’ll find one of two new art installations, created by local artists working with the University of Derby and Banks Mill – the other is on The Strand, outside Derby Museum.
In Cathedral Square, ice sculptors will be at work from 11am to 4pm on Fri 11 and Sat 12 Dec. Watch their progress as they carve a block of ice into Christmas-themed designs including an elf, a robin, an angel and a sledge, which will last as long as nature allows. Ice-carving is a slow process so if the area is busy, please enjoy some of the other Festive Derby attractions on offer and come back later. To ensure everyone’s safety, Derby LIVE staff will be on hand to ensure that crowds do not gather around the sculptors as they work.
Inside the Cathedral is the Tree of Light, a Christmas Tree hung with messages of love, hope or memory to mark this special time of year. Write something to add to the tree, or go to derbycathedral.org to send it online, and help fill the tree with messages.
Also around the city this weekend, watch out for street performers Maynard Flip Flap’s Man in a Christmas Present on Sat 12 Dec. Create your own souvenir of this Christmas by taking a photo at one of the Selfie Boards at The Spot, Market Place, or East Street (outside Millets), and share it on social media with #FestiveDerby.
For a full list of what’s on offer for Festive Derby, see visitderby.co.uk/festivederby.
Festive Derby’s outdoor attractions begin on Friday 4th December, bringing a backdrop of lights and Christmas sparkle to the city streets together with attractions that can be enjoyed in a safe way.
Outdoor events will run as planned with full Covid-secure measures in place. Visitors are asked to continue to do the right thing for Derby by following social distancing at all times, wearing a face covering if they can, and following the Tier 3 rules about who they can meet up with, either staying with members of their household or household bubble, or following the rule of six when outdoors.
In Derby Market Place, live performances of Elf Encounter can go ahead because the design of the show puts it in line with a Santa’s Grotto, which is permitted under Tier 3. Babbling Vagabonds’ 15-minute show in a purpose-built wooden hut has been designed to be performed to one household and/or bubble at a time, with a clear screen surrounding the stage and cleaning of seats before the next performance.
Live performances will take place between Sat 5 and Wed 23 Dec, and will take families with children on a journey in a magical Christmas machine with a mischievous elf who needs to get back on Santa’s nice list! Babbling Vagabonds will also be making recorded versions of the show available for families who are unable to visit in person, which will be on sale soon. For more information and to book tickets, go to derbylive.co.uk/whats-on/elf-encounter.
Derby Market Place will also host its first Festive Market this weekend, open from 10am to 4pm from Fri 4 to Sun 6 Dec, where shoppers can pick up some unique handmade presents and mouthwatering Christmas food gifts made and sold by locally based stallholders. The market is organised to be Covid-secure with a one-way system, regular cleaning of toilets and card payments. The number of people allowed in at one time will be tightly controlled so if it is busy, please enjoy some of the other attractions and come back later.
Shops will have their displays decorated ready for the Window Wonderland trail, families can look out for cheeky elves in the Elf Trail, and you can use our Christmas Selfie Boards at three points in the city to take photographs to record your memories of this unusual festive season. Watch out for street entertainers Joy Magnet’s Bouncing Snowmen if you’re in the city centre on Sat 5 Dec, and enjoy the Christmas Trees, lights, and lighting projections on Derby Market Place and Derby Cathedral. The Visit Derby website will be updated with full information about what is happening at visitderby.co.uk/festivederby
Councillor Robin Wood, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “As Derby goes into Tier 3, we all need a little sparkle and Festive Derby is there to help us all feel a little better. If you’re visiting the city there is much to enjoy in the knowledge that everything has been planned with your safety in mind, but it’s up to us to play our part and look after each other too.”
Jumping Clay Derby - for Derbyshire and Burton have won a pop up shop and workshop area in the intu Derby shopping centre for the month of December.
Pop in to see them for: Gift sets, Stocking fillers, Kits for virtual courses, Kids workshops (age 8+), Story time (for parents with under 5’s) and Baby Hand and Foot Impressions.
All workshops must be booked in advance and are subject to availability. Book through www.bookwhen.com/jumpingclaypopup.
Book a Story Time Session quoting Lots for Tots for a choice of free gift or special offer for all customers!
Story Time Sessions will be running every weekday at 10:15am. Starting Thursday 3rd Dec until 18th Dec. The stories will be:
3 & 4th December - Gruffalo’s Child’s
7-11th December - Elf Story
14-18th December - Stickman
£6 per family (Every family gets their own socially distanced table).
Limited to 4 family groups - 1 family per table - tables well spaced.
Priced per table - up to 2 adults and 2-3 children (all must be under 5 due to Tier 3).
Story Time Sessions are fun and relaxed and aimed at children age 2 to 5 years old. Designed to support your child's development they are brilliant for fine motor skills, spatial awareness, encouraging listening etc. All materials are provided.
1 - Session starts off with Mark making / colouring during settling in time as everyone arrives
2 - Billy's Colourful Adventure with fun colour mixing
3 - Story of the Week
4 - Step by Step Tuition of story time model
The new regulations require all adults and children over 11 to wear a face mask unless you are exempt on health grounds, at indoor attractions. Staff are exempt but we will be wearing either a mask or a face visor whilst teaching to provide some protection for us and you.
Although children under 11 are exempt, our insurance has asked us to encourage all children age over 7 to wear a mask. I know many children like to wear the masks (my children do) so we do have some child sized disposable masks available. Please note children under 3 should not wear a mask. The decision on whether your child wears a mask is up to you as you know your child the best.
Staff will be taking your temperature and asking you all to sanitise your hands on arrival. This is provided free of charge but you are welcome to use your own if you prefer.
Please don't bring any food or drink into the workshop (water bottles for occasional drinks are allowed).