Report by Jonathan Brown
The long-awaited Lincoln Christmas Market returns today, and the city is preparing for a festive weekend of fun until Sunday.
It's one of the highlights of the city's calendar and was sorely missed last year - when it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Not least because it generates millions of pounds for a local economy that has lost £8.5m because of lockdowns.
The 38th Lincoln Christmas Market is hosting over 150 stalls - a far cry from its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 11 stalls in Castle Square. The market now takes over most of the cultural quarter of the city.
Despite the market coming back with a bang, there will be a number of measures in place to help keep visitors and stallholders safe.
The Director for Public Health for Lincolnshire is urging anybody with covid symptoms not to travel to Lincoln or go to the market.
What are the covid safety precautions in place at Lincoln Christmas Market?
If you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms, please do not visit the market. These include a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and/or a change or loss of sense of taste and/or smell. Instead book a PCR test and isolate until you receive your results.
Face coverings are now mandatory in England in shops and on public transport. As a result, visitors are asked to wear a face covering in crowded areas and indoors, including in the marquees at the market, unless exempt.
Visitors using the Park and Ride service must also wear a face covering in line with government guidelines unless exempt.
Before heading to the market, please take a lateral flow test to ensure you are not carrying the Covid-19 virus.
Hand sanitisation stations will be in place at various points of the market, however they advise you to bring your own hand sanitiser and that you wash your hands regularly when possible.
How can I travel to the Lincoln Christmas Market?
The Lincoln Christmas Market Temporary Traffic Regulation Order comes into force on Thursday, December 2.
Any vehicles parked after this time within the restricted areas will strictly be parked in contravention to the order.
The event closes to the public at 7pm on Sunday, December 5. Stallholders will be leaving after this time and road closures within the inner area will be in place until 10pm.
There is no parking in the vicinity of the Christmas Market, so people are being advised to use the Park & Ride service.
The services operates from the Lincolnshire Showground on the A15 just north of Lincoln, and the site will be well signposted on all approach roads.
For some, the Christmas Market is the most important event in the city’s calendar as it brings over 250,000 visitors to Lincoln. These visitors often return at other times in the year when they realise what Lincoln has to offer.
But which stalls can you expect to see as a visitor?
Here is the full list of stalls
They can be found at Castle Square, Castle Grounds, The Lawn, Westgate and Cathedral Westfront in the uphill section of the city, open throughout the four days of Lincoln Christmas Market.