Durham County Council has apologised to traders who lost thousands of pounds because of Lumiere, the light festival which attracted tens of thousands of people.
Shops and businesses on Elvet Bridge say customers were diverted away from the area at one of their busiest times of year.
Lucy Taylor reports.
More top news
A number of Britons are feared stranded on Mount Everest after the Nepal earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche on Saturday.
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast
Feeling much colder later on Saturday. Wintry showers possible on Sunday and Monday