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The Christmas Markets are back

Well, their spring-time cousins are anyway

Published on May 6th 2009.

The Christmas Markets are back

What do you do when you hit on a winner? Duplicate it and have all the fun twice-fold. The Manchester Spring Market is the sunnier relation of the Christmas Markets with over 80 stalls and nearly as long a visit as their winter cousins. But rather than hot toddies and tree decorations, these celebrate the arrival of the warmer weather with flowers, morris men, barbecues and Pimms.

In St Ann's Square, there'll be gift stalls and a whole load of food and drink to drool over including a beer garden to languish in and enjoy the sunshine (hopefully). Game pie, chorizo sausage, barbecue food, fresh curries, Dutch waffles – eat your way around the world then wash it down with cold local beer, glass of English wine, champagne, Pimms (or a quintessentially English cup of tea). There'll be live entertainment every day including a steel drum band, opera, and morris dancers.

Meanwhile, Exchange Street will be transformed into a carpet of flowers thanks to Dirk 'the famous' Dutch Flower Man. And on New Cathedral Street, there'll be an arts and crafts market selling Indian carvings, hand made jewellery, and one-off clothes and accessories. If you're low on chutneys, specialist jams and handmade sweeties, go there to restock. An open-air food court will serve a selection of Turkish cuisine, soups, coffee and cake ‘to die for’ to those in need of on-the-spot sustenance.

We foresee a few lunchtime or weekend gatherings at the markets over the next few weeks. They're open from 10am to 6pm daily from 8-25 May. It's a long time till Christmas so make the most of them while you can.

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