Get Ready For The Return Of Manchester's Award Winning Christmas Markets
Festive season begins on Thursday...
The ads are appearing on TV, the streets are decked with lights and Manchester is preparing to open up its world famous festive markets once more. All surefire signs that Christmas is just around the corner. Under seven weeks to be precise.
The award-winning city marketplaces along with their 350 stalls over sites will swing open their doors from this Thursday November 10th.
Launched in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Markets were the first in the UK growing from only a single site in St Ann’s Square in 1999 – each completely free to visitors.
Regularly named one of Europe’s best Christmas Market attractions, nine million people visited last year – along with two million visiting the Albert Square site alone – and is responsible for generating millions of pounds for the city’s economy.
There will be an official launch event featuring none other than Coronation Street and Loose Women legend Sherrie Hewson on Thursday at 10am over at St. Ann's Square.
Beginning 42 days of trading, the markets will welcome back traders from all over Europe and the rest of the world with some local highlights thrown in for good measure.
One of last year’s most popular stalls, The Greater Northern Pie Company, return selling their handmade pies, and an icon of Albert Square – The Big and Barrel pork sandwich emporium – will return bigger and better than ever.
Continuing the street food theme, King Street welcomes the fresh Turkish tastes of the Zouk Grill, while Exchange Square will become the new home of gourmet hot dog experts Street Dawg Co, and some of the best Indian food this side of the Asian subcontinent in Tikka Kebab Kitchen – with one of the best vegan curries going.
Piccola Eatlia’s stone-baked pizza tops off the inaugural list for Exchange Square cooking up the authentic tastes of the Mediterranean, while the authentic taste of the North is wrapped up with artisan bakers George and Shelley’s Pie Shop at Cathedral Gardens – who also do a warming range of mulled gin.
Festive Cathedral Gardens is building on the success of the family-friendly area last year with a Manchester Christmas Market first – an ice rink.
The Rink at Cathedral Gardens will open a week ahead of the markets (Friday, 4 October) and will be joined with the return of the traditional fun fair – including Ferris Wheel, carousel, Helter Skelter, and a tea cup ride.
Well if all that hasn't convinced you, we don't know what will. See you all there on Thursday!
(header pic credit: Mark Waugh)