Boss stresses importance of shopping local ahead of festive market launch

Mark Raines, the owner of MJR events, is bringing the Norfolk Artisan Christmas Fair to Fakenham Racecourse this November.

Mark Raines, the owner of MJR events, is bringing the Norfolk Artisan Christmas Fair to Fakenham Racecourse this November. - Credit: Mark Raines//Ian Burt

The organiser of a Christmas market has stressed the importance of shopping local over the festive period.

Mark Raines, the owner of MJR events, is bringing the Norfolk Artisan Christmas Fair to Fakenham Racecourse this weekend (November 13-14). 

Mark Raines, owner of MJR Events.

Mark Raines, owner of MJR Events. - Credit: Mark Raines

It comes after he bought the company which had held a Christmas fair at Holt Hall. 

But, after the building was sold last year, Mr Raines needed a new venue has opted to host the event at the racecourse. 

The 48-year-old has highlighted the need to support crafters and producers from the local area as they continue to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said: “For a lot of small businesses - especially in the arts and crafts industry - Christmas markets, farmers markets and craft fairs are crucial to getting products seen.

"A lot of them rely on fairs taking place throughout the year for their income.

“This autumn has been the first opportunity for many small businesses to get back out to markets and events for 18 months.

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“Christmas fairs across the county, such as the Norfolk Artisan Fair, are a great opportunity to support local, small businesses and the local economy."

Mr Raines and his wife, Meryl, will bring 110 stalls featuring everything from homemade sausages to Christmas cards to the racecourse's Prince of Wales stand.

A packed Prince of Wales Stand watching the racing at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Ian Burt

Mark Raines and his wife, Meryl, will host the Norfolk Artisan Christmas Fair at Fakenham Racecourse - Credit: Archant

While this is their first Christmas market, the couple have vast experience in hosting events such as wedding fairs and the Norfolk Bump & Beyond Baby and Toddler Fair at Norfolk Showground. 

Having honoured bookings which were made by traders last year, they are promising top-quality sellers and hundreds of unique items. 

“A lot of the types of gifts and products you will find at our Christmas fair don’t sell as well online as they need to be seen and touched," added Mr Raines.

"In the case of the food and drink items, they even need to be tasted to really appreciate the quality."

Tickets for the Norfolk Artisan Christmas Fair, priced at £4.50, can be bought by visiting mjr-events.co.uk/the-norfolk-artisan-fair. Or, you can pay £5 on the door.

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