Christmas tweets for all!

Simon Burgess is the Lincoln Elf on Twitter.
The Lincoln Elf on Twitter.

Festive tradition will take over Castle Square this weekend as Lincoln’s Christmas Market returns, but with a 21st century twist.

The UK’s first traditional German-style market has grown from just 11 stalls in 1982 to over 300, offering Christmas shoppers an ever-increasing variety.

But this year, market organisers are targeting Twitter users whilst retaining the market’s character , by providing more Christmas-style stalls.

The first Twitter test came with the “name-the-elf” competition. Children were asked to suggest names for the anonymous mascot after he fell off Santa’s sleigh last year and was left behind: “A huge variety of names and Lincoln anagrams were submitted. The winner, six year-old Rhys Kendall from Lincoln, chose the festive name of ‘Jingle,’ “which I love!” says Simon Burgess, a communications officer for the City of Lincoln Council.

By using Twitter, visitors will have immediate access to updated information before and during the market, particularly useful for students and guests who haven’t encountered the market before.

Burgess says: “Twitter allows myself and the organisers to interact with visitors and keep them constantly informed. I can update tweets with information about stalls, the entertainment programme (who will be performing, where and when) and events that are going on around the market.”

The elf will be tweeting throughout the event, trying to prevent followers from missing out on added extras or hitting any congestion spots.

“If the queue for Father Christmas is long or short, a quick post will help visitors gauge whether or not to wait until later to visit. Or if a road within the market has to be closed, Steep Hill for example, a tweet from me will make this known and I can post a different route to the market area,” Burgess says.

There’s been a positive reaction so far, with 55 Twitter users following the elf, and it looks to be a great asset for the market in the future: “We know getting known on Twitter is a gradual process and it will definitely be something we can build on for next year,” says Burgess. “But if my tweets make the visit better for just a few people this year, then it’s been worthwhile.”

However, non-Twitter users need not feel left out. The market has its own website which has all the information one might need pre-market. There are fact sheets for residents and visitors, and a Christmas Market brochure, which will be on sale at the market, with a map and information about entertainment and stallholders.

A wonderful experience for Lincoln students and residents and for external visitors, the market is not to be missed. This year promises to be more exciting than ever with added stalls and attractions ensuring that there’s something for everyone this Christmas.

If the Christmas Market twitters your fancy, you can follow Jingle the Elf on Twitter, or visit the website.

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