Organisers of a festive Christmas Town event are celebrating their success after it was revealed the record breaking weekend attracted a total of 35,000 visitors.
Locals of Bishop Auckland and beyond were dazzled last weekend (November 24-26) by the now-annual Christmas Town event which featured over 40 stalls, a skating rink and even a ferris wheel.
The free event also featured live entertainment, roaming street performers and a giant snow globe all included, as well a Christmas Tree Festival at St Anne’s Church.
Following the event, organisers have revealed their winter wonderland attracted 35,000 visitors - thousands more than the 25,000 which was forecast.
Thomas Wales, Director of Baccanalia and co-organiser of the weekend has thanked the public for their positive response to the festive event.
He said: "Bishop Auckland is a wonderful place, with wonderful people; thanks to them, this weekend has exceeded our expectations.
"People came out in their droves, we were hoping to attract 25,000 and the dry weather helped us dramatically to exceed that number.
"We are so grateful for the support we have received and the support of our principal partner Bishop Auckland Town Council, along with many others.
"Our aim has been to make Bishop Auckland the Christmas Capital of County Durham, and from the feedback we have received, we are well on our way to doing that. We already have more ideas for what additions and improvements we wish to make in 2024."
Fellow organiser Ben Tinkler, Managing Director of Bridge Creative, spoke of the work that went into organising the event and confessed he "couldn't be prouder" of the team.
He said: "Christmas Town is no ordinary event; it is a full partnership between the creators and the community. The event is at the heart of what we do at Bridge Creative and it’s been fantastic to see so many people come to support it.
"Christmas Town enables the people we support to gain a huge range of skills in preparation for the event and during the weekend.
"They have created art installations, built set pieces for the magical Santa’s grotto, supported the event management team, learnt about event stewarding, created pieces for the MadeBy stall and so much more.
"They have all helped to make this incredible event a success and I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team."
Cllr Sam Zair, Mayor of Bishop Auckland added: "Christmas Town is a testament to the collaboration that the council encourages between the local community, local organisations and the local business sector.
"We are thrilled to be the principal partner in this fantastic event from its start, and to see it grow to what it is today has been a joy.
"It was wonderful to see our magnificent Market Place, bustling and alive under the twinkle of the festive lights, showcasing the wonderful town that Bishop Auckland can be."