Outdoor markets can trade under the Government’s Tier 3 Covid-19 guidelines

A much-reduced socially-distanced event in Manchester is happening over two city centre sites to give shoppers a flavour of Manchester’s famous Christmas Markets this year. It’s also a way to support local traders during the festive period after the huge annual multi-location extravaganza was unable to go ahead. 

we have been looking at ways of supporting the Christmas traders at an important time of year for their businesses

Smaller markets in Piccadilly Gardens and St Ann’s Square will now offer visitors a seasonal alternative to the high street as many retailers have been allowed to reopen in the run up to Christmas. Although restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs are still closed for anything other than takeaway, click & collect or delivery due to Manchester’s tier three status, independent local traders from across the region, who would have been part of the city’s usual Christmas markets, have been invited to set up stalls.

2020 12 07 Christmas Market Piccadilly Gardens

The Piccadilly Gardens markets will include the usual street-food traders, along with a range of craft and gift stalls, and is open now until Wednesday 23 December – 10.30 until 7pm.  

St Ann’s Square will welcome some of the usual Christmas Market favourites for two long weekends (Weds 9 December to Sun 13 December / Weds 16 December to Sun 20 December) and will be open from 10.30am until 7pm.  

2020 12 07 Piccadilly Christmas Lights

Food traders will include Porky Pig with his famous Yorkshire pudding wraps, Eat Greek selling traditional gyros and halloumi fries and Mango Rays with hot and fresh burritos and vegan chill con carne. Sweet stuff will include Elsie May’s gooey cookie dough and traditional Christmas market pancakes. Of course there will be stalls selling Gourmet (steady on) English sausages and German bratwurst.

2020 12 07 Giant Santa St Peters Square
Giant Santa showing his sack in St Peter's Square

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know people were so disappointed to hear this year’s Christmas Markets could not go ahead” (er, not us Pat) “Public safety must be at the heart of everything we do, and we could not put on our usual world-class event while keeping people safe.  

“Since then, we have been looking at ways of supporting the Christmas traders at an important time of year for their businesses, while also attracting people to the city centre in a safe an manageable way.  

“Our Winter Markets have attracted some of the city’s - and region’s - top makers and traders, who provide a real alternative to the high street.” 

The weekend markets will be strictly managed to limit the number of people who can access the stalls at any one time. A one-way traffic system will be in place to ensure social distancing can be always adhered to.  

Also read - The Ultimate Guide to Christmas dinners delivered in Greater Manchester

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