Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

It was once said that “No-one can whistle a symphony, it takes an orchestra to play it.”

I rather like watching this analogy currently being played out across Harrogate in its build up to, and celebration of, the Festive season. I’ve lived in Harrogate for many, many years. Grew up here, came back to raise my family and whilst Christmas was ‘nice’, the town didn’t always do itself justice in bringing out the best of our destination in the festive season.

I used to work in music tours, and there would always be a big trade show just before Christmas. Usually the US, sometimes Europe and the lights, markets, installations and events all coming together to create something special, meant that when I landed back in Harrogate for Christmas Day I couldn’t help but compare.

So here we are in Christmas 2021 after what can only be described as a couple of hellish years and here comes Harrogate out of the gate with a Christmas celebration that is up there with cities around the world. How on earth has this happened?

Teamwork my friend

Sitting in meetings about Christmas since the summer with a host of people who don’t regularly get round the table together, all to make great things happen.

More Christmas Markets than I can buy baubles at, here for a longer run plus an artisan market in the Valley Gardens which has had some festive lighting upgrades itself for the first time!

Rides in town from a helter-skelter to a carousel and a town train which arrives next week. I know people have commented about locations and length of time, but seeing the cenotaph from a host of new angles was quite special, and I’ve spent more in town having taken the kids on the rides over last weekend than I have in ages.

There’s the Father Christmas Experience, where the Harlow Carr Father Christmas has directed his sleigh down Cold Bath Road and arrived at the Crown Hotel along with incredibly jolly elves. You can’t fail to feel joy at this, not least watching adults sing and dance along with their kids before graduating Elf School with a certificate to prove it. I also recommend the Bailey’s Hot Chocolate served by Dan and the team at the Crown Hotel!

The North Pole Post Office is back at HIF Towers next week. A last minute idea in 2020 to try and help the town celebrate when Christmas was cancelled returns, and it’s fair to say I will not be allowed to play with the snow machine this year!

It is fantastic to see the pantomime back at Harrogate Theatre, whilst the venue exterior is wrapped up like a big present as vital work goes on, the interior looks beautiful for Christmas, so get your tickets booked to find out if Cinderella will make it to the ball.

There is so much I can’t squeeze in here, so two final honorable mentions for the Harrogate Snowglobe that was promoting Harrogate to Kings Cross last week. This is a beautiful piece of marketing, and finally for the Knaresborough Edwardian Christmas Markets that were on last week, always a family favourite.