The Bridlington Business column with Christine Brown.

Crowds gather for last years Christmas lights switch-on. This year it takes place on Saturday 9 December at 4pm.
Crowds gather for last years Christmas lights switch-on. This year it takes place on Saturday 9 December at 4pm.

Tis’ the season to be jolly and Bridlington businesses are gearing up for Christmas with a series of events to encourage people to stay and shop locally.

Once again, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is offering free car parking for the weekends of 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 December, from 8am on Saturday until 8am on Monday, at all of its on-street and off-street parking facilities.

The Bridlington Business column with Christine Brown.

The Bridlington Business column with Christine Brown.

Bridlington Harbour Commissioners car parking will also be free for the same dates and these concessions are hoped to mean an economic boost for local traders.

Many local retail businesses, cafes and bars have to compete with the expected out-of-town shopping trips that many locals will be taking this year and initiatives such as free parking and the planned series of events are hoping to attract more people to stay local and support local businesses that are in Bridlington, 12 months of the year.

It’s Destination Old Town with many of the businesses getting into the spirit of Christmas, from Friday 1 December, with costume parades, music, dance, the lighting of traditional window displays and many more events to encourage people to attend, browse the shops and galleries and have a drink or a meal to make shopping and family time a special event in an area of rich heritage and culture.

For more information visit Destination Old Town on Facebook.

Bridlington Market will be in full operation and on Saturday 9 December at 4pm there will be the switching on of the lights, which is always a popular event.

This year, Yorkshire Coast Radio will be in attendance broadcasting live with performances from exciting local acts to keep people entertained.

A variety of festive foods will be available on the day as well as competitions, including a retailers Christmas display competition and children’s fancy dress.

All the happenings are to promote the message ‘shop local’, so this year there will be extra, temporary stalls for new local businesses and crafts to be able to attend on the day meaning more to see, do and hopefully support with some purchases.

Shop local is the important message to take from all the events that local businesses are funding and supporting.

Shopping local boosts the local economy with the benefits being reinvested locally creating jobs and growth.

The expectation every Christmas and New Year celebration season is that the pubs and restaurants are the main beneficiaries, but they have to invest time and money to ensure we all have a good time. All these businesses are doing this for us locals, so let’s heed the message and shop local this Christmas and beyond and help make 2018 a highly successful year for the Bridlington economy.

May I take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.