Christmas Charter Market to launch this weekend in St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Live music and dancing will be among the attractions at the launch of the St Albans Christmas Charter Market this weekend.
The market will run every day from Sunday (December 15) until Christmas Eve - with around 100 traders selling toys, clothes, novelty gifts, arts and crafts and more.
On Sunday, there will be a free entertainment programme from 10am to 4.30pm to suit all ages, with acts performing in a marquee outside St Albans Museum + Gallery, close to the illuminated carriage.
Among the performers are singers Benjamin Beechey and Grace George, and rock bands Rylands Heath and The Maida Vales will bring the event to a close at 4pm.
There will also be performances from the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, the Stagecoach Performing Arts School, Brilliant Theatre and the SASA School of Performing Arts.
The New Fighting Elves pop-up bar will offer mulled wine and other festive drinks, along with numerous street food outlets. The Sopwell Community Trust will be organising children's games as well as staging traditional craft workshops and giving out Bangladeshi soups and sweets.
Charities Herts Young Homeless and Herts Wildlife Trust will have stalls at the launch event promoting their work, with other charities running stalls throughout the festive period.
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Joe Tavernier, the council's head of community services, said: "This is an innovative approach to kicking off the annual Christmas Charter Market.
"We are hoping the varied street entertainment will give the market a boost by bringing several thousand more people to the city centre than normal.
"It will be an exciting event with live music on throughout the day, provided by local artists, as well as displays of dance.
"People will also be able to browse the scores of market stalls to buy a few Christmas presents and support our local traders and producers. They can also check out our city centre retailers.
"They will also have the chance to enjoy some food and drink from the takeaway stalls, too, and when the market closes, they can continue to eat and drink at one of our fantastic restaurants, bars and pubs."
St Albans BID is sponsoring the marquee, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and White Lion pubs organised the entertainment, and other sponsors include SA Law, Morgan Sindall and KP Waste.
There will be an 'encore' Christmas Charter Market launch event with more live entertainment on Sunday, December 22.