Oxford's Spirit Of Christmas Reborn

Bah humbug! The legacy of Ebenezer Scrooge lives on and it works for the Oxford Council. At least, this was what residents of Oxford were saying this time 3 months ago when it was announced that the annual Broad Street Christmas market was closed indefinitely. 

However, as the festive season approaches and the familiar crispness returns to the air, the festive spirit of Oxford is saved following the announcement of a new organiser for the beloved Christmas market. After the council’s refusal in July of 2023 to shut down cycle lanes for the event, many residents were outraged by the seemingly bizarre decision. When asked, one local stated ‘I really do think it's disgraceful, they're prepared to take away the festive pleasure from thousands of people in the interest of a handful of cyclists.’ The council’s adamancy stemmed from their feeling of obligation to keep the cycle lane open. The decision was driven by a broader agenda of sustainability, public health, and reducing environmental impacts but following the disagreement with the former organiser, the event was temporarily closed. 

Closing the markets led to plentiful public outcry as the council was branded ‘Hyperwoke’. Eddie Reeves, who runs the local Conservative Party, told MailOnline: 'The idea that sensible accommodations for cyclists cannot be made during the Season of Goodwill owing, presumably, to overriding climate change concerns is hyperwokery of the worst kind. The majority of cyclists in Oxford are bright students and conscientious commuters. Many, if not all, would be willing to dismount and walk through the market or avoid Broad Street for three weeks while it is on.' Complaints varied from outrage at the loss of tradition, marvelling at how decisive they seemed in closing a market that was cherished by thousands and had been a focal point of festivity in Oxford for many years regardless of the loss and disappointment that followed. The Christmas market was also occupied by over 60 small businesses each year which stimulated local businesses and created seasonal jobs as well as bringing in visitors from outside Oxford beaconed to the market by the smell of mulled wine and the twinkling of the Christmas lights. Concerns were raised that the closure may harm the local economy, particularly for vendors and artisans who rely on these events for income. These markets also served as social hubs where friends and families come together, a key aspect of the festive season. 

Thankfully, the council has stated that the beloved Broad Street Market is set to return under the influence of a new organiser. So come experience the enchantment, warmth, and joy of the market, where the holiday spirit is alive and thriving and this treasured tradition continues.