Christmas markets set to be busier than ever
By David Wood
Where: Taurus Crafts, Lydney, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL15 6BU
Dates: November 30 and December 1, 7, 8, 14 & 15, 10am-5pm
Taurus Crafts' Christmas markets look set to be the area's go-to venue for real world festive shopping where you can meet producers, artists and craftspeople.
The special market weekends will be running from November 30 until December 15 with more guest traders than ever before complementing the on-site artisan businesses, health and beauty salon, cafés and gift shops based at the charity-run venue.
Entertainment has become a key feature of the successful markets, and this year there is even more than previous years.
What originally started out as a few local choirs at the markets now boasts over 25 performances; ukulele bands, singing groups, choirs, flute choir, as well as an ever-growing number of school choirs. A favourite choir of Taurus Crafts' visitors are returning this year, The Wyedean Gospel Choir. Run by the students themselves this choir is upbeat, and with 40 members really puts on a show for the crowd, singing contemporary versions of classics and modern chart songs.
New to the market weekends this year is an activity area. Here families can get creative with artist Jayme-Lee Cooper who will provide all the equipment, materials and expert know-how so budding crafters can get making. She has planned a series of affordable drop-in workshops that will focus on using natural materials to make seasonal gifts and decorations.
Since it is the season to deck your house out in all manner of festive finery, why not peruse the centre's selection of fresh-cut Christmas trees? Locally grown within a 15-mile radius of Taurus Crafts, the trees - which are available from November 30 - come in a selection of sizes and can be wrapped in biodegradable netting. Even better, the proceeds will help the venue continue its work of supporting adults with learning disabilities and other complex needs.
The markets are free to enter with a large free car park, and are open from 10am until 5pm.
Taurus Crafts is part of the Camphill Village Trust, a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. Taurus Crafts provides work and training opportunities, so people can interact with the public and gain confidence from their achievements.
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