That was confirmed today (Tuesday) by the organisers, who said there had been ‘a fantastic atmosphere in the town centre’ a year after all festive events were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Melton BID manager, Shelagh Core, said plans were in place to expand the market from Market Place and Nottingham Street to Sherrard Street and Park Road.
She told the Melton Times: “Footfall figures for the weekend showed 4,891 visitors to the town centre on the Friday, 5,898 on the Saturday and 4,135 on the Sunday, of which over 50 per cent were new visitors to the town.
“We were delighted to also see coaches returning to the town for the Christmas Market this year, with three coaches on the Friday, six on the Saturday and eight on the Sunday.”
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Entertainment this year took place throughout the town centre over the three days, with pop-up performances from the Rock Choir and Capella Choir, live music from vintage vocalist Miss Lily Love-Joy, music and dancing from Want2Dance and Morris Dancers.
Family entertainment included miniature steam train rides in the town park, with the There and Back Light Railway and the Bubble Wizard caused quite a stir, particularly with the children.
There were also 200 steam passengers arriving in the town on the special 7029 Clun Castle and 6233 Duchess Of Sutherland ‘Top and Tailed’ Vintage train.
Sadly, the fairground planned for the town’s park over the three days was cancelled before the event but a Winter Wonderland is scheduled there next year to provide more family entertainment as part of our Christmas market weekend, as well as the return of the miniature steam railway and circus workshops.
Mrs Core added: “Thanks to all those that visited this weekend’s Melton’s Christmas market, it was so good to see the town and the market so well supported over the weekend, after what has been a challenging 18 months.
“With 45 traders on the Friday and over 100 on the Saturday and Sunday there was a great variety of local hand-crafted gifts and local produce to entice early Christmas shopping and we have received great feedback from the traders, who are looking to return to the market for the full three days next year.
“Thanks also to the Melton Mowbray Lions Club too for hosting the Santa’s Grotto in the Market Place, which was really well received.”
Co-organiser, Sharon Brown, added: ”The Christmas Market created a fantastic atmosphere in the town centre throughout the weekend, with the local dance school Want2Dance encouraging visitors to join in the dancing and enjoy the music.
“The market encouraged a real mix of traders and visitors to the town, including steam punk visitors and we will be looking to involve these more in local events and markets next year.
“Visitors also loved the great selection of gifts and local produce on offer and traders really appreciated the opportunity to showcase their products, particularly those who had just started up their businesses during lockdown last year.
“We’re looking forward to expanding the Christmas Market next year to draw shoppers to all parts of the town.”
***Christmas gifts will be on sale at the next Melton Indoor Market, which is on Saturday December 18, 10am to 3pm at Mary’s Place, in Burton Street.
It is hoped the indoor market will become a regular fixture next year.