Organisers of this year’s Christmas festival have said they are “excited” to open its doors and that they hope it will be an event the city can be proud of.

Construction of the festival is well underway in St Peter’s Church Plaza, with several Christmas chalets already built alongside a big wheel.

David Hill, founder and managing director of E3 Events, said that lessons had been learned from the “challenges” of last year’s event.

He said: “We have tried to apply those lessons to deliver a really authentic and traditional European-style Christmas market.

“We have focused on producing a market that’s going to look magical, light beautifully and with the type of traders you would expect to see at a Christmas market, along with things that are very unique.

“We are very excited to show the city the site.”

The Argus: Construction of a big wheel at the market is almost completeConstruction of a big wheel at the market is almost complete (Image: The Argus)

Along with a range of Christmas-themed stalls, visitors can enjoy a virtual reality sleigh ride and an “Austrian Apres Ski lodge”, which will offer people a chance to soak up the festive cheer and enjoy a Christmas-themed drink.

Mr Hill said: “We’ve got a full range, from specialist German beers, mulled wine, mulled cider and hot chocolates produced by a company in Portslade - we are so proud to be supporting local businesses.”

The festival has partnered up with other locations in the city, including the Ironworks Studios and the Hilton Hotel, to host plays, a Santa’s grotto, and even a talent show. 

The event has also teamed up Brighton Palace Pier to act as the festival’s official fairground.

Mr Hill said: “Our official fairground is on the pier - and why wouldn’t it be? We have one of the major fairgrounds on the south coast.

“Our approach has always been that this is a city-wide event - we want the whole city to benefit from this.

“It will bring tourism into the city and we want them to enjoy the entire city, go shopping in North Laine, visit Churchill Square and experience our retail hub.”

Brighton Christmas Festival is also working to raise money for the Focus Foundation, the official charity partner of the event, which supports UK-based charities and social enterprises to make a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives.

Mr Hill said that any funds raised from the festival will be “ring-fenced”, with the money going to charities and community groups in the city.

The festival opens to the public from 1pm on Friday, with the Mayor of Brighton and Hove and the Snow Queen on hand to cut the ribbon. The festivities will last for several weeks before closing on Christmas Eve.