Thousands of happy shoppers enjoyed a dusting of Christmas cheer at Harborough Market’s late night Christmas Market on Friday 5th December.

Harborough’s late night Christmas Fayre saw crowds flock in to the town centre for an evening of shopping, good food and entertainment.

Almost 13,000 shoppers visited the market, which is operated by Market Place Management, who have been appointed by Harborough District Council to manage the market following a £480,000 refurbishment earlier this year.

“I am delighted by the response from the local community”, said Market Manager Sairah Butt. “They came out in numbers to support our traders and hopefully a good time was had by all. We had great stalls, great food, some wonderful entertainment and hopefully showcased what a fabulous offer we have not just at Christmas, but all year round.”

Local school children kicked off the evening with a great selection of carols. Acoustic band Saxophonia! kept the festive tunes going for the rest of the night, with great sets from the Kibworth Operatic Society and Main Street Band also keeping the crowds entertained.

The stalls in the food hall did a roaring trade with traders struggling to keep up with demand or selling out.

“I never thought it would be this busy,” said Stelios Paphitis, owner of fish and chip stall Market Plaice. “It was brilliant. I even had to get my dad down to help out!”

One of the highlights of the evening was the offer of a free slice of cake for all. Market traders Crumbs! baked a 3ft by 2ft celebration cake to wish the town a Happy Christmas from all of the traders.

Shoppers were invited to guess the weight of the cake for 20p and a grand total of £120 was raised for the National Autistic Society.

“Since reopening after the refurbishment our celebration cake business has gone from strength to strength,” added Crumbs! owner Simon Mayers. “This was our way of saying thank you to the people of the town and a great way to raise some funds for a charity very close to our family’s heart.”

Harborough Market is open Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 5pm and Sunday 9am to 3pm for its popular Antiques Market. Interested traders should contact Sairah Butt on 0777 305 8933