Bedfordians will be treated to three weeks of Christmas markets every December weekend in the run-up to Christmas this year, instead of the annual fireworks display along the Embankment.
Instead, the festive spirit will grow from 22 November when the Christmas lights will be turned on across Bedford town centre and Riverside Bedford.
Then three weekends of Christmas markets, free events and entertainment will commence.
These will include a two-day Artisan Market run in partnership with Made in Bedford, which promises to be full of “high-quality and unique crafts and products” and the chance to buy that “special gift”.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Bedford town centre also has a fantastic array of independent shops and businesses, delivering experiences and goods that you won’t find online.
“So please come on in, and support your town centre and its brilliant businesses.”
While the decision not to hold the usual fireworks and laser event is so local festive activities are more “COVID-19 safe”, the move has been welcomed.
Comments on Mayor Dave Hodgson’s Facebook page suggest locals are already excited. “That’s an excellent plan. Looking forward for some Christmas cake and warm mulled wine,” said one.
“Excellent ideas,” said another. “Have some Christmas fun and fayres. Never really understood the fireworks anyway as they have nothing to do with Christmas.”
Whereas another commenter said this should be how it is from now on. “Good news on the fireworks, please make this permanent. They should be banned, we know better now,” they said.
When asked if this would likely be a permanent change, a Bedford Borough Council spokesperson was unable to confirm to the Bedford Independent if organisers had thought that far ahead.
The markets are a joint collaboration between the council and BedfordBID who say that further details about the markets and what people can expect will be announced soon.