Another record year for Frankfurt Christmas Market

By on 23/12/2009 in News

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market continues to grow from strength to strength with estimates of almost three million visitors to the UK's biggest German Market this year.

The ninth annual festive market draws to a close later today (Dec 23) with the traditional handover of food, sweets and money to children's homes and homeless charities.

And Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby has spoken of his pride that the event, which started with just 24 stalls in 2001, continues to grow in stature.

Final visitor figures will be confirmed next month but organisers estimate the 2009 market has improved on last year's record figure of 2.8million.

While other cities have tried to emulate Birmingham's success, none have been able to reproduce the size, scale, diversity and quality of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, which continues to be the largest German market outside of Germany and Austria.

Cllr Whitby said: “The Frankfurt Christmas Market is now firmly established in the city's calendar and attracts visitors from far and wide.

“I am delighted that we have had another record year, in spite of the troubled economic climate. Early figures show we've surpassed last year's visitor figures of 2.8 million, which is a remarkable achievement.

“Many visitors come from outside of the city and the market provides an excellent opportunity for Birmingham to showcase its wider retail offering.”

Cllr Whitby joins traders this afternoon for the annual handover of leftover perishable goods to the Salvation Army for distribution to homeless people at the William Booth Hostel in Shadwell Street. Stallholders will also donate sweets to Birmingham Children's Homes.

The stallholders will donate produce such as ham, waffles, sausages, pretzels, vegetables and fruit. Loose change held by stallholders will also be donated to the Change a Life Campaign, which through the city’s homeless charities, seeks to help people off the streets and into a more settled lifestyle.

Cllr Whitby added: “Once again I commend the stallholders for their generosity. Every year they are warmly welcomed to the city by shoppers and they show their appreciation in one of the most generous ways possible - by offering some Christmas cheer to people in need. I am sure that the produce will be appreciated.”

Nadine Loewenthal, spokesperson for the traders, added: “The Frankfurt stallholders are always delighted by the support shown by customers from Birmingham and beyond, this is a really friendly city that knows how to celebrate Christmas.

“The handover of our leftover produce is a way of showing our appreciation, and it hopefully gives something back to a city that never fails to make us feel so welcome.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Members of the media interested in attending the handover ceremony should report to reception at the Council House, Victoria Square at 2.50pm.

For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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