The bunting will be up in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 30 June when the town celebrates 'Love Your Local Market', a national campaign to promote the special qualities of local markets. Events are taking place in both Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill at the markets run by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
In Bury there will be more than 70 stalls, including several 'pop-up' stalls where new businesses will be offering their wares. These stallholders have paid a nominal £10 to take a small pitch, to literally 'test the market' to see if their enterprises would benefit from a permanent presence. Among the pop-up pitches will be:
- Seasonal Suffolk, which specialises in pates made from foraged food by a Michelin star chef
- Nature's Promise, a plant nursery from Rougham
- Fizzy Bubbles, handmade toiletries from Thurston
- Homemade cakes, jams and preserves
Some of the biggest names in retailing started as market stalls – including Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Morrisons – because it is a flexible, low-cost way to build up a customer base.
Other activities and attractions organised for 30 June include a free draw with many stallholders putting up prizes; cookery lessons from La Tasca; and a stall supporting the charity Help for Heroes.
The market celebration day in Bury coincides with Armed Forces Day, when the town is expected to be particularly busy for the homecoming parade for 11 Squadron RAF Regiment, based at Honington.
St Edmundsbury Cabinet member Cllr Robert Everitt said: "Bury's market is one of the oldest and best in the country but the celebration will bring an extra bit of razzmatazz to an already vibrant event. We're looking forward to it being a party atmosphere, especially with lots of visitors in town for the homecoming parade.
"I'm particularly pleased there will be four new seed companies taking the opportunity to showcase their wares at this event because we are always keen to encourage new market stalls. Markets are a part of our heritage and bring people into the town, so there are all kinds of benefits for other traders."