BRAND NEW features have been added to Leeds’ annual German Christmas market this year.
The Christkindelmarkt – held in Millennium Square – has undergone a two year transformation to introduce new venues and attractions.
New for 2016 is a ski-themed bar and restaurant, set in an authentic alpine chalet, with hand crafted décor and traditional Glockenspiel that automatically plays 30 different melodies.
There is also an open air stage that provides daily entertainment as well as family-friendly events such as singalongs and face painting.
The previously popular Frankfurterscheune, known as ‘the beer tent’, does not feature this year for the first time since its opening 15 years ago.
To replace the tent is a Viking themed pop-up bar in nearby Victoria Gardens which promises the same atmosphere as the ‘beer tent’.
Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We’re so excited to be bringing so many brand new features to the city centre this Christmas for what will be whole new festive experience.
“The German Market has been one of our most popular attractions for the last 14 years now and our events team are always looking for ways to make it bigger, better and more inclusive.
“We’re confident that there really is something for everyone, with a family-friendly atmosphere on Millennium Square and a vibrant pop-up bar for visitors to enjoy on Victoria Gardens.
“Christmas is always a very special time in Leeds city centre and I’m sure this year’s festive season will be a memorable one.”
Ashleigh Johnson, 19, of Leeds, attends the market every year. She said: “No matter what your age, your inner child comes out, there’s something to please everyone.”
Kurt Stroscher, director of tourism for Frankfurt City Council, said this year the market is more authentic and traditional.
He said: “Over the past 14 years, we have added plenty of new features to make the Christkindelmarkt even more attractive. This year, it will be more authentic and traditional – just like our Christmas market in Frankfurt.”
There are over 40 traditional stalls in wooden chalets selling German delicacies such as schnitzel, stollen and gingerbread as well as seasonal gifts and decorations, crepes and chocolate and handcrafted toys.
Chelsea Wilkinson, visiting Leeds from Surrey, attended the market for the first time this year and said: “It’s a really festive atmosphere with lots of different food stalls and Christmas decorations for sale, there’s so much choice.”
The market takes place every day until Sunday 18 December.