Locals have been left confused after the 2023 Dundee Winterfest event apparently failed to open as planned.
Organisers had advertised that the festive market, which is set to be a much smaller affair for 2023, would run from December 1 to 24 – opening at 10am each day.
M&N Events confirmed last month it was relocating the event from Slessor Gardens to an area close to City Square, with the ice rink, big wheel and children’s rides all scrapped, due to cost pressures.
About eight stalls were expected to be set up for the event – which is separate to the council’s activities at City Square.
But as of Friday lunchtime, there was no sign of any Winterfest stalls on High Street, Nethergate or other nearby sites.
One trader said they believed work had been due to start on Thursday night to get Winterfest ready – but on Friday, several workers nearby said they were not aware of anything being set up.
One local said: “It was disappointing enough to hear Winterfest was being made smaller but it’s odd that nothing has appeared as planned – unless it’s been hidden away somewhere.
‘No work’ to set up Dundee Winterfest
“I haven’t seen any work going on these past few days to suggest the market stalls were being set up.
“The only thing we’ve seen is the stuff at City Square run by the council.
“Maybe it will appear over the weekend but it certainly hasn’t started as advertised.”
A post on the Winterfest Facebook page on November 11 confirmed the market was due to start on December 1 at 10am, claiming trader spots were filling “fast”.
There have been no further posts on the page since then.
Meanwhile the Dundee Winterfest website – with the address www.slessorgardens.co.uk – has been down and “under maintenance” for weeks.
M&N Events, which is currently running major Christmas events in Glasgow, has been contacted for comment.
The council’s own free activities at City Square, including curling and bumper cars, launched this week.
But the local authority says it has had no formal contact with the Winterfest organisers this year.
Council ‘received no formal proposal for Winterfest to be part of Christmas festivities this year’
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “Dundee City Council has received no formal proposal for Winterfest to be part of the city’s official Christmas festivities this year.
“While Winterfest has complemented the council’s Christmas programme over the last couple of years, we’re confident that our 2023 offering provides a packed calendar of traditional, free festive entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
“Already the rides and activities in the City Square have been busy with families and, after the success of the Dundee Hooley last weekend, there’s the Christmas Special this Saturday (December 2) which includes live ice carvings, Unicorn Dance Party and more.
“This Christmas there’s something for everyone – fun activities and entertainment, Christmas makers markets, meet and greet Santa, crafts, live music and more.
“And of course the city centre is lit to get everyone in the festive spirit, so locals and visitors alike can make some truly special memories here this winter.”