The Brighton Shopping Festival – As if you needed an excuse!

Now that the sun is set to start shining again on a regular basis and your bank account has recovered from the holiday dents, it’s time to get out and enjoy some shopping in Brighton. The city has set up its first ever festival for this purpose, the Brighton Shopping Festival from 1-30 April 2011.

Hundreds of Brighton boutiques are to take part in the festival, which aims to showcase all types of shopping in Brighton from high street fashion to cutting edge boutiques: the lifestyle shops in the South Lanes, retro chic shops in the North Laine, designer bargains at the Brighton Marina and high street stores at Churchill Square.

Brightonians are not the only avid shoppers that the city-wide festival aims to please. Over 8 million visitors come to Brighton each year to shop, which, according to tourism figures, contributes over £407 million annually to the city’s economy.  These shopping tourists make their way to the Sussex coast by bus, railway and fast road links, which combine to make Brighton’s Shopping Festival a convenient shopping magnet .

In addition to the great deals on offer at shops throughout Brighton, events during the month-long festival include the Churchill Square Fashion Showcase from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 April. This launch event promises three days of catwalk shows which showcase spring and summer fashion plus 2011 beauty trends, plus ‘pamper pods’ where visitors can sample make-up looks and pick up fashion tips from high street stores.

The Brighton Marathon Food Market runs from 9-10 April, each day from 9am-4pm, and is a food festival with the goal of refueling spectators and all 15,000 runners with healthy and locally produced food all within a 26 mile radius of the city.

Also on the 9th, the Unique Brighton Fashion Show will take place at the Thistle Hotel from 2-4pm when traders from the Lanes, the North Laine and the high street shops showcase summer collections.

If you’re planning a wedding, make sure to visit the Wedding Fayre at Hotel du Vin on 17 April from 11am-3pm, which allows visitors to enjoy a glass of bubbly whilst meeting with local wedding suppliers, like dress stylists, and attending cake tasting sessions.

Brighton Marina is also taking part with a two day event showcasing local talent. The focus at the Made in Brighton event on Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 April is to highlight the handmade and hand crafted talent produced year round in Brighton. There will also be live bands, music, demonstrations and competitions and five trading zones: Food & Drink, Health & Wellbeing, Jewellery & Fashion, Stationary & Gifts and Home and Garden

The final event is the Princess & Tiara Party at the G Casino on Friday 28 April from 7pm – 2am. The casino is set to host a fashion show in collaboration with the Marie Curie Charity, and will show the audience just how fabulous you can look with clothes from the charity shop. Plus, there will be bubbly, canapés and a DJ spinning tunes into the wee hours.

Flickr images by dvorahuk, Harry1w and ChurchillSquare

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