Thousands of people are expected to descend on North Shields this weekend as a popular festive market returns.
Now in its 16th year, the Victorian Christmas Market will take place in Northumberland Square on Saturday, December 13, and Sunday 14.
There will be more than 100 stalls offering a wide variety of goods including gifts, crafts, food and drink.
A bandstand will feature local choirs and school children singing carols. Other entertainment includes Morris dancing, street entertainment from Let’s Circus, a Punch and Judy show, live music and a small fairground.
The market opens at 10am on Saturday with the traditional carol service led by local churches and the Salvation Army, and trades until 5pm. On Sunday the market is open 10am until 4pm.
North Shields Customer First Centre will be open offering a range of festive activities including arts and crafts, music, films and more, while the Beacon Shopping Centre will have free car parking and a Santa’s Grotto.
Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “Our stalls sold out in record time, so we are expecting another successful event.”
“The market is a wonderful way to welcome in the festive season and a perfect opportunity to grab some seasonal produce to enjoy with family and friends over the holidays.”
The market is organised each year by a partnership including North Tyneside Council, the North Shields Chamber of Trade, the Beacon Shopping Centre, the YMCA, local churches and schools.
The event is also supported this year by Metro, Kier North Tyneside and Capita.
Metro staff will be at North Shields Metro Station welcoming passengers with festive cheer and free mince pies.
Sharon Kelly, managing director, at DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which operates Metro trains on behalf of Nexus, said: “We’re proud to be sponsoring the Victorian Christmas Market in North Shields for the third year in a row.
“The Victorian Christmas Market is a unique shopping experience with lots of entertainment for all the family and we hope people from across Tyne and Wear will hop on board with Metro and pay the event a visit.
“It would be great to see passengers get into the spirit of things by dressing up too.”
For further information contact John Fleet, Town Centres Manager, on (0191) 643 6419 or visit www.victorianmarket.co.uk.