Stoke-on-Trent City Council is to hold a Christmas Market in the city Centre this year with festive wooden chalets running along Upper Market Square and Parliament Row outside big name stores such as M&S, BHS and Boots from 30 November to 24 December.
An organiser stepped in last year at short notice to provide a Christmas Market so that Stoke-on-Trent City Council could see if shoppers would support a Christmas Market. It had a slow start but word soon spread and people flocked to the city centre. Shoppers enjoyed the small market with its 24 wooden chalets and the traders were pleased with both the footfall and spend. As it was late in the year some stalls were filled with regular commercial products, but this year after listening to what shoppers want, the stipulation is that stall holders must sell food, drink and festive/ Winter products. It is to be a market filled with variety that shoppers will enjoy browsing. Now shoppers and traders are pleased Stoke-on-Trent City Council which has taken over the running of the market has pledged to grow the event annually and make it more festive.
The real Santa and Mrs Claus are to make a chalet their City Centre Grotto for the duration of the market which organisers are sure will delight shoppers and which will run from November 30 to December 21. Local choirs and brass bands are to be invited to perform in to the market area and festive music will be played via a Public address system when there aren’t performances taking place.
Stoke-on-Trent is also known as the Potteries and is officially recognised as the ‘World capital of Ceramics’ so each year visitors flock to the City to buy gifts and Christmas tableware. The addition of a Christmas market will be a huge boost to the City. There will also be area for local crafters and artists to participate for short periods of time to give shoppers an opportunity to view and buy from the latest designs.
Council leaders have taken the decision the market will have two closing dates, four days before Christmas for those who need to travel home for Christmas and Christmas eve for those who wish to trade the whole time. The traders who wish to remain open right up until Christmas, will not be charged extra and will be sited together for the duration of the event in the main street so that when the early close chalets are removed the market will remain attractive to shoppers.
Stoke-on-Trent is ideally located between Manchester and Birmingham with excellent road links from the M6 making it attractive to traders and shoppers. The recent continental markets which have drawn large numbers of visitors have shown that shoppers are delighting in the opportunities provided to buy specialist foods and unusual gifts that they can’t currently get on the High Street.
The City Council is not looking to make money from the event this year and has pledged any potential profit will be plowed in to extra advertising and activities to increase the success of the event.
A new Facebook page has been created for the event and shoppers are already supporting the planned event. https://www.facebook.com/ hanleychristmasmarkets/
Applications are still being sought from prospective traders. Applications packs can be found at http://ow.ly/4mJwYk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or traders can call the markets manager on 01782 232716.