An event-full year in Darlington
A bigger than ever range of events has helped to attract thousands of extra visitors to Darlington town centre in 2019. Following on from this success, organisers are now finalising a packed diary of events for 2020.
Darlington Borough Council’s town centre partnership and events team worked with partners to deliver what could be seen as the biggest ever events programme in the town centre.
Highlights included the popular Christmas Lights Switch on with the changeover to Sunday proving a hit with festive fun lovers; The Food and Drink Festival, new for 2018, made a popular return and partnered for the first time with Darlington Jazz Festival, a double treat for many.
Two #LoveDarlo Restaurant Weeks saw hundreds of discount diners tuck into food treats across scores of local restaurants. Halloween celebrations hit scary heights as the town centre Lantern Parade attracted even more scary followers and retailers added to the fun with treats, crafts and much more. A tidal wave of visitors poured into the town centre for the ever-popular Darlo by the Sea event and ice and records were broken for the second ever Ice Sculpture trail.
New events brought a new vibe to the town with Darlo Drumming Festival, Pease Pudding Markets and regular Farmers’ Markets. Superstar Jess Glynne performed in Darlington and prompted a day of music in the town. Established favourites including the Darlington Community Carnival and Festival of Ingenuity brought young and old into the town to celebrate the rich culture of Darlington.
More is promised in 2020 as plans to celebrate 75 years of Victory in Europe Day go from strength to strength and regular favourites such as the Food Festival, Darlo by Sea, Community Carnival and much more, are added to a packed events diary.
In addition, music lovers can expect a special treat in September as the popular Darlington R’n’B Festival celebrate 25 years in the town.
Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:
“2019 has been an incredible year of events and each one has given a huge boost to visitor numbers meaning more and more people taking advantage of our fantastic range of retailers, independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
“There is no doubt that town centres are under pressure across the country; people need more than one reason to visit and special events offer a great incentive to come along and see what’s on offer in our wonderful town centre.
“Thanks must go, not just to our events team, but to the retailers and other local and national businesses including Darlington Markets, The Cornmill and Queen Street Shopping Centres, DL1 and the Imperial Quarter, and the local community, who have worked together to deliver this fantastic programme of events. I look forward to a wonderful and event-filled New Year and encourage everyone to Enjoy Darlington.”
Details of events will be available on the Enjoy Darlington website at: www.enjoydarlington.com and also on the #LoveDarlo Facebook page.