SHOPPERS welcomed Chester’s biggest ever Christmas market to the city centre on Thursday as the new chalets opened.
Now in its second year in the current chalet format, the market has filled the square outside the city hall, surrounding the newly located 40ft Christmas tree.
The market has more than doubled in size since last year, from 30 stalls to its current 70 according to Events Coordinator for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), Mr David Atkinson.
“In it’s current form it has only been going two years, previously we had different forms of wooden huts for five years and prior to that we had smaller markets using temporary stalls” he said.
The market has proven popular both with residents from the area and those from further afield in recent years, according to a survey carried out by (CWaC), who said that according to last years figures over 30 percent of visitors made the trip from other parts of the UK or abroad.
South African Darren Andrews, who runs the Big 5 South African Catering chalet on the market said: “This is my sixth year here and it just gets bigger and better.”
Shopper Hannah Hamilton, 54, from Aberdaron in North Wales said: “I love coming to the market it reminds me of the Swiss markets I used to visit when I was younger.”
“This is by far the best I’ve seen Chester looking at Christmas, I wish we had stuff like this nearer to us, it’s a real cozy atmosphere.” She added.
Barbara Morris, 42, from Saltney who is a veteran attendee of the Christmas bonanza said: “I love it, it’s huge, I can remember when we used to have a few temporary stalls here and there, it just feels so Christmassy now.”
The opening of the market fell on the same day that Chester also saw its Christmas lights switched on.
The market will feature some of the best produce, along with some of the finest artisan crafts and creations Cheshire has to offer.
Shoppers will have plenty of time to grab a bargain, as the market will run for 25 days from November, 20 to December, 14, and will be open daily from 10am-6pm with extended late night shopping hours until 8pm on Thursdays.
For more information on events over Christmas in Chester visit Christmas in Chester
For a full list of traders at the market click here