19.12.2019 by Dave Johnstone

Introducing our very own Mrs Claus!

Meet Joanne aka Mrs Claus, our absolutely wonderful Christmas Market Event Manager (even if we do say so ourselves)!

Introducing our very own Mrs Claus!

If you’re under the impression that the 1st November is too early to talk Christmas then I’m afraid Joanne’s job would not be the one for you… A year round project, the management of the market is a huge undertaking. Here’s an insight into her Christmas ‘bubble’.

Describe ‘A day in the life’


Wake up – time for a cuddle with my two daughters and tell them I am going to be cleaning off Santa’s Sleigh today!  Lots of excitement!  Coffee for me and Tea for my Mother in Law who is currently babysitting while I get ready for Christmas. 


8:00 – 8:30am

Turn up at work – time for another coffee and start the day with any calls or meetings that I need to set me up for the day.  This is the time of day where I much prefer to speak to people, and it means that I can action anything that comes up throughout the day.



By this time I may need another warm drink and a banana!  Or any other snacks I can lay my hands on – total snack addict especially when I am busy!  Often seen by the charity snack box..  if you cant find me..


9 – 5:30

Typical day of work consists of updating floor plans, contacting suppliers, budget work, schedules and speaking to suppliers to make sure we are all working as a team.  We have a lot of kit to pack up for Christmas so it’s all hands on deck to make sure everything is picked and ready to go on site.


5:30 – 7:00pm

Currently working steady long days to make sure that I keep on top of any last-minute requests, emails and queries before we go on site for the big build.  Today I am fitting signage and ordering tools and materials that I will need on site.



Go home and spend a couple of hours with the girls (not a euphemism) and my cat watching crazy you tube videos and having tickle fights



BED!!  I am always early to bed on week nights… such a lightweight. Put a £1 under my toothless youngest’s pillow (at 11:00pm) and wrote a note from ‘Cornelia the tooth fairy’ telling her that her tooth is going to be a cooking pot!  More excitement ensues the next morning…


Organising a Christmas Market is a pretty big undertaking right?! How do you find it working on Christmas year round? 

Hell yeah!  It’s a complex project when you are looking at it for the first time, but we are simplifying processes constantly so when you start to repeat, it will get easier. When you get down into the detail you kind of forget about Christmas, but having said that Christmas is a really fun time of year so its great to be working on something that is so appealing to such a wide audience!


What’s your favourite part of your role? 

I really enjoy working with our dedicated suppliers and the camaraderie that builds when you are planning an event like this. I don’t know if it’s the Christmas spirit or the spirit of events, but it’s great when we are all pulling in the same direction and supporting each other.


What new things are you most looking forward to seeing at the market this year? 

Some of the food is new to me personally, and I have a terrible sweet tooth, so I’ll be chowing down on Churros and Crêpes… always to be seen with a snack in my hand!  


What’s your favourite Christmas treat? 

Ooh I love a few glasses of mulled wine. It’s my absolutely favourite so I’ll definitely be sampling some of that! I’m also interested in the mulled gin…  never tried that before so I’m up for something new! 


To check out Joanne and the crew’s work on the market this year, get your winter warmers on and head down to Bournemouth Square from the 15th November where you’ll be met with the hustle and bustle of our festive traders offering the very best local retail and catering goods! Take refuge in the exclusive, two-storey Alpine lodge sip mulled wine, indulge in the festive delicacies and admire all of Joanne’s work during the most magical time of year!