While thousands of families across Manchester were rummaging for lost Christmas baubles in the loft to welcome the start of December, a record-breaking 85,000 people were visiting the city centre markets.
The largest crowd since the Christmas Markets first took over 14 years ago turned out to the main stalls on Albert Square alone – smashing all previous records – and the further seven sites all benefitted from a huge boost in visitors.
Traders welcomed Gluhweins gluggers and bratwurst chompers as more than 30,000 mugs of hot festive tipples were served.
Manchester’s Christmas Markets generate an estimated economic impact of up to £50million for the economy, attracting visitors to the city centre to complement the high street and boost trading for established stores and independent traders alike.
Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We all thought the opening weekend was busy, but Saturday was fantastic. The atmosphere at the markets when they are full of people having a good time is magical.
“Sleigh loads of Christmas spirit across the city centre.
“But a festive tip if you don’t like crowds – the markets are less busy Monday to Wednesday, without losing any of the wonderful atmosphere.”
Live music is on offer on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings when crowds are smaller, but the atmosphere is just as magical.
The German traders in St Anne’s Square first established a market in 1999, and have traded every year since.
Picture courtesy of Phillipa Moran