Gallery: Fun to be had down at the Ipswich Christmas Market this weekend

Kelly Chamberlain of the Bear Garden who are celebrating their first birthday during the Ipswich Chr

Kelly Chamberlain of the Bear Garden who are celebrating their first birthday during the Ipswich Christmas Market. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

This weekend’s Christmas Market has seen thousands of shoppers pour into Ipswich’s town centre.

From food and drink to clothes and toys – there is a whole range of things to buy and tastes to try at the three day event.

James Young is events manager for Ipswich Borough Council, which is directly organising the market for the first time this year.

He said the event, which started yesterday and continues tomorrow between 10am-4pm in the Giles Square area, was important in the build-up towards Christmas.

“It’s been busy all day and we were reasonably busy yesterday,” he said.

“The feedback generally has been very positive. This year we have increased the number of stalls and we have also got a full entertainment programme. There’s been children’s rides – something different for people to come to town and see in Ipswich for this weekend.

“We are trying to build on it year-on-year and it has been an improvement on the previous two years but we want to develop it even further.”

Out of the 70 stalls, adding to the day’s existing market, half were local traders.

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One of them was Patricia Fuller’s children’s toys stall, Narla’s Treasure Trove. The 48-year-old said the fact that stall-holder’s rates had been cut this year was a plus.

“It’s been very good, it’s gone very well,” she said. “It’s had a nice atmosphere with the music – the samba and choir and the other groups.”

One of the big hits was the Sambooba band which drew large crowds.

Nick Fairbanks, 62, from Nick’s Wonky Label Preserves and Chilli Emporium said today’s sales had been an improvement on yesterday’s.

He said: “I’ve had a good response. It’s pottering along very nicely, yesterday was ok, today has been much better although the rain was a bit of a downer.

“I do other markets in town, in Fore Street and I’m from Colchester but used to live in Bildeston, so this is home, my old stomping ground.”

Along with the music and noise from the crowds one thing which was noticeable was the aromas coming from the different food stalls.

The turkey at the Brogan Food Company’s hog roast had sold out but pork was still available. Other favourites included the Exotic Game stand, selling everything from kangaroo to zebra burgers. Those looking for a drink could be found at the novelty real ale stall, managed by Direct Beers.