Expecting over 100,000 visitors to 2016 ChristmasMarketstalbans

St Albans European-style Christmas Market is looking forward to its fourth year in 2016 and is expecting visitor figures to exceed the 103,000 who visited last year.

The market opens on Thursday 24 November, runs until Sunday 18 December, and is set to be even bigger and better than the previous three years.

St Albans’ regular bi-weekly street market is said to be the oldest regularly held street market in the country. It has been held in the same venue, in Market Place, for over 1,000 years, so the city is no stranger to markets.

The European-style Christmas Market is located in the stunning Cathedral quarter of the City. The 11th century Cathedral was once an ancient Abbey and its walled Vintry Garden, once the Abbey’s vineyard, was tended by medieval monks. At Christmas, the Vintry Garden will once again be transformed into a magical wintry village, complete with street names to make it easy to find specific stalls. The ambience of the Christmas Market will once again be complemented by atmospheric twinkly lighting, music and entertainment.

This year the official launch event for the Christmas Market on Sunday 27 November coincides with the hugely popular switching on of the St Albans lights. This event usually attracts around 15,000 on that one night alone. A host of Christmas characters and special magical guests will enchant the children, with live festive music and fun activities for all the family. Stalls selling gluhwein and bratwurst will help create that unique European Christmas atmosphere.

On the last Saturday of the Christmas market, shoppers can enjoy the beautiful sounds of the St Albans Choristers, and pop in to join in the singing as the historic Cathedral hosts its annual ‘Carols on the Hour, Every Hour’ day.

Liz Marcy, Market Manager, says:The St Albans Christmas Market is going from strength to strength with huge increases in visitor numbers each year and repeat traders. Last year, the Christmas Market welcomed 103,000 visitors, which represents an increase of 130% on the first year of this market (2013).

Our objective this year is to attract even more fantastic market traders to give visitors more product choice and quality than ever before. To this end we are implementing a really significant and wide-ranging marketing campaign targeting both traders and customers. We are building the reputation of the market to ensure it becomes a must-visit location in the run up to Christmas.

We are already taking bookings from stall holders and entertainment suppliers.

The pretty, festive market will be the ideal place to buy gifts and goodies made by local designers as well as from suppliers across the UK. St Albans’ charm lies in how well the City mixes the contemporary with the traditional and authentic. The 2016 Christmas Market will aim to do the same with a range of gifts and homeware, from traditional, wooden, crafted gifts, to personalized presents, decorations, jewellery and fashion accessories.

The food and drink offering will be second to none, with plenty of delicious new options as well as old favourites such as Bratwurst and hot pork rolls.

Opening hours are:albans

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11am – 6pm

Thursday, Friday: 11am – 8pm

Saturday: 10am – 8pm

Sunday: 10am – 6pm

If you would like more information about booking a market stall for this event, or supplying entertainment, please contact Liz Marcy on 01727 819370 or email her at: liz.marcy@stalbans.gov.uk