A WEEKEND of fun for the whole family is promised from Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, December 1 as Knutsford Christmas Market returns for its seventh year.

A two-day festive street market will return to the town centre, with stalls across Princess Street and Silk Mill Street.

An array of Cheshire’s finest artisan foods, handmade crafts and unique gift ideas will be available to buy across the weekend.

Hot food and drink stalls selling your favourite comfort foods as well as hot coffee and a selection of bars selling beer, cocktails, mulled wine and more will be in Canute Place on the Saturday and outside the Lost and Found on Princess Street on the Sunday.

Visit the Mayor’s Christmas stall on Princess Street, where you can buy a raffle ticket and be in with a chance to win one of four festive hampers made up of prizes from market traders and help the Mayor raise money for local youth services and a starter fund for a skate park.

Knutsford Guardian:

Last year's mayor Cllr Peter Coan at the switch-on

Santa will be visiting the market again and setting up his grotto on Silk Mill Street for the entire weekend. He has special Christmas treats for all the children and is raising money for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.

Children can also visit The Dancing Unicorn stall on Princess Street outside the Lost and Found, who will be there all day Saturday offering face painting and glitter tattoos.

John Collins Funfairs will be setting up in Princess Street car park behind Waitrose for the whole weekend with plenty of amusements for families to enjoy.

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On the Saturday you can head down to King Street to see Santa in his sleigh in a new Santa Parade, which will also feature LED light performers, all your favourite Christmas characters and more.

The parade will set off at 5pm from the bottom of King Street near Knutsford Railway Station.

Visitors to the market can enjoy live entertainment on the Saturday from 1pm in Canute Place on a stage featuring local musicians, dance troupes and community groups who will entertain you while you enjoy hot food and drinks.

Stick around for the Christmas lights switch-on at 6pm, where the Mayor will be joined by special celebrity guests Adam and Katy Rickitt.

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Buskers from the Get Back Band will entertain market visitors on the Sunday and will be raising money for charity.

The Park and Ride service is back for 2019 following its success after its introduction at last year’s event.

The service will offer a free shuttle service and will run back and forth from Booths Park to Knutsford Bus Station.

The shuttle takes five to 10 minutes and will run continuously for the whole weekend.

Drivers can use postcode WA16 8GS and follow the signs to Car Park C to make use of the free service.

Volunteers from the Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme and Knutsford Royal May Day will be helping to run the service over the weekend and collecting optional donations, which will be split between the two charities, with a small portion going back into funding the service.

If you don’t manage to grab all your Christmas shopping at the Christmas Market visit the Late-Night Shopping event on Thursday, December 5.

About 40 shops in the town centre will be staying open until 8pm offering promotions, mince pies, mulled wine and tastings.

Santa will be at Hal Whittaker with a small gift for each child from 5pm to 7pm. Local choir Knutsford Beats will be singing in Cotton Shop Yard at 5.30pm and 7.30pm, and you can catch some more live music from Abi Chetham at Knutsford Market Hall from 6pm.

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Shoppers will receive a raffle ticket with any purchase from a participating retailer, the prizes for which include dinner, bed and breakfast at any Flat Cap Hotel, kindly donated by The Courthouse. The prizes will be drawn by Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Andrew Malloy on the steps of The Courthouse at 8pm.

The fun doesn’t stop there; residents can join the Mayor at his community Crib Service on Saturday, December 7 at 4pm for a short carol service by the town crib outside the Lost and Found on Princess Street.

That evening families can enjoy a Christmas disco at Shaw Heath Social Club from 6pm.

Hooked on the Heath will be providing pre-ordered food and children can receive a hotdog, squash drink and a gift from Santa included in their ticket. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Mayor’s PA Annabel at annabel.irvine@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or by calling 01565 653 929.

There is a host of other wonderful events taking place during the festive period organised by local churches, businesses and community groups.

For more info pick up one of the Christmas in Knutsford leaflets available in various outlets in the town centre.

Knutsford Town Council thanked Bruntwood for sponsoring the Christmas Lights and Speedy Freight for sponsoring the town Christmas Tree and helping to bring festive cheer to the town, as well as Total Vehicle Leasing and Bentley Manchester for arranging the transport for the Santa Parade and 438 Marketing, who have designed the Christmas promotional materials this year including the popular leaflet.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said: “Our Christmas Market and lights switch-on is our flagship event, and we look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to what is set to be a fantastic weekend to kick off the festive period.

“There is so much going on in Knutsford across the Christmas season, so make sure you pick up our Christmas guide from your local retailers in the town centre.”

For full details of what’s happening this festive season, please visit the Town Council website or visit the Knutsford Christmas Market Facebook or Twitter pages. You can also contact christmas@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01565 653 929 for more information.