A PACKED diary of events in Darlington over the last year has helped attract thousands of extra visitors to the town, the council has said.
Darlington Borough Council’s town centre partnership and events team brought a bigger than ever range of events in 2018, with everything from jazz festivals to ice sculpture trails.
Highlights included the popular Christmas Lights Switch on with the changeover to Sunday from Thursday 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 followers, and retailers added to the fun with treats, crafts and much more. Visitors poured into the town centre for the ever-popular Darlo by the Sea event and ice and the town’s second ever Ice Sculpture trail returned.
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, with plans to celebrate 75 years of Victory in Europe Dayas well as 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 Darlington R’n’B Festival celebrates 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.
“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.”
She said the events were often a joint effort with the markets, Cornmill and Queen Street Shopping Centres, DL1 and the Imperial Quarter.
Visit www.enjoydarlington.com and also the #LoveDarlo Facebook page for events details.