The Guild (Dumfries) CIC have been given the go-ahead for their long sought-after monthly street market festival, after almost two years of campaigning.
The Guild will launch Dumfries Market Festival, their monthly curated street market festival on Saturday March 14 and this will continue on the second Saturday of each month through to November.
They promise not only a curated market selling beautifully crafted products from local artists, makers and producers, but a whole host of activities to bring life back to the town centre.
The community interest company are also producing this year’s Christmas Festival and Lights Switch on Sunday December 1.
It promises to be a festive extravaganza, complete with Santa’s Reindeer, horse and carriage rides, D-Lux light show, music, entertainment and over 35 market stalls and street food vendors.
The Guild Dumfries were given the opportunity to run last year’s Christmas Makers Market at the lights switch on event. Despite the pouring rain, crowds flocked to the market and it was a resounding success.
Since then, they have produced another hugely popular market at this year’s Big Burns Supper, plus a Pop-Up Shop in the Loreburne Shopping Centre, which saw up to 1000 delighted visitors each day during the two weeks of trading at the beginning of August.
In January, the Nith Area Committee agreed to review the process and examine the procedure for awarding the street market licence and in June, Dumfries and Galloway Council invited expressions of interest from new or existing market operators wanting to run a town centre market.
Director, Leah Halliday said: “We submitted a 48-page proposal to Dumfries and Galloway Council back in September, outlining in detail, our vision for Dumfries Market Festival. The two Makers Markets that we delivered at last year’s Christmas Lights Switch-On and Big Burns Supper, were just a taste of what we envisaged our monthly street market to look like.
“Both markets gave us the opportunity to build partnerships, nurture our relationships with a community of makers and provide us with valuable experience and feedback, to allow us to look at other ideas, develop projects and possibilities.”
Fellow director Kirsten Scott said the markets will be a “mini festival in one day”, making Dumfries a destination for the community and visitors to enjoy. Entertainment, music, street theatre, hands on workshops and demonstrations will add to the festival atmosphere and bring a real sense of pride back to the town centre.
“We are absolutely elated with the council’s decision to grant us the go-ahead and would like to thank the public for their support and encouragement. This is just the beginning,” she added.
If you would like to volunteer to help or wish to find out more about the The Guild Dumfries visit www.theguilddumfries.org/ or follow them on social media at Facebook @theguilddumfries; Instagram @theguilddumfries; Twitter @guilddumfries
Picture – From left: The Guild Dumfries Directors, Leah Halliday, Kirsten Scott and Natalie Farrell. Credit Jonny Cartwright Photography.