THE first weekend of Tameside Christmas Market has been a merry-go-round of festive fun.
Visitors enjoyed free rides on the carousel, crafts and entertainment as well as extra special Christmas shopping.
The Christmas Market was opened by Father Christmas and Cllr John Taylor on Friday 2 December and continues over the next two weekends with further delights and attractions.
From Friday 9 to Sunday 11 December there will be free rides on the swing boats and land train as well as walkabout characters while from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 December there will be free rides on the ferris wheel as well as visits from real reindeer.
The Christmas Market, in Market St, Ashton, has over 20 stalls with local traders selling a great selection of gifts and crafts and delicious food and drink.
Santa’s Grotto is another highlight - with all proceeds going to the Mayor’s Charity supporting a number of local good causes. There’s also welcome elves and other favourite characters as well as visits from donkeys to keep children entertained.
For those wishing to relax, there’s a covered refreshments and seating area where shoppers and diners can enjoy music and dance performances while little ones get stuck into the free colouring and crafts.
Tameside Council Executive Deputy leader Cllr John Taylor, who is responsible for Markets, said: “What a great start to the Christmas Market – the weather was kind and the atmosphere was brilliant. Thanks to everyone who has already joined us and supported local traders.
“This year we have gone for a really traditional, family feel with lots of free fun as well as festive shopping – there’s something for everyone and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the lovely atmosphere of a Christmas market without facing huge costs or even bigger crowds.
“The event complements the many vibrant shops and market stalls already on offer, helping to promote Tameside, support traders and boost business.”
Tameside Council has worked with town teams and community partner to support Christmas celebrations and activities across the borough – for further details see the Christmas What’s On in Tameside 2016 guide at www.tameside.gov.uk/xmas2016
Keep updated on latest news and entertainment information on Tameside Christmas Market at www.tamesidemarkets.co.uk and by following on @TamesideMarkets on Twitter.