KNUTSFORD’S Christmas Market is still scheduled to go ahead after being put back to next month because of the second nationwide lockdown.

The popular annual event was scheduled for November 27 and 28, with about 70 stalls, half its usual number, to comply with social distancing guidelines.

However it has been put back two weeks until Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, because of the four-week lockdown, which is due to end on December 2.

The market is due to run from 11am to 4pm each day, on the Princess Street and Silk Mill Street car parks, with a few stalls on Princess Street to bring the areas together.

The market would be separated into two main sites featuring crafts, and food and drink stalls. There will be no live entertainment at the market, and no hot food and drink stalls to discourage people from gathering within the market.

Members of the town council’s events and town centre management committee agreed to the December dates for the market.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said the market had become part of the town’s life and how it celebrated Christmas.

“Given that many of the other items we would normally be having have had to be cancelled. it would be nice if we could have something that was still allowed and would be dealt with in a safe way,” he said.

Cllr Quentin Abel said: “It would be very sad for our commerce and our Christmas feel to not have a Christmas market.”

Town council events officer Alex Brown said: “A one-way system will be in place around the sites, which market organisers are asking all visitors to abide by to keep themselves and other visitors safe.

“Hand sanitiser stations will be available at each market site entrance and exit, and signs will help direct visitors around the sites.

“Mask wearing is not compulsory, though visitors should wear a mask if they prefer. The market has been scaled back to allow for social distancing and will feature around half its usual number of stalls, but organisers have ensured that favourites in pies, cakes, art and jewellery will still feature.”

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Visitors can make use of the free Park and Ride shuttle service, which offers passengers a bus ride from Booths Hall to Knutsford Bus Station to help reduce the pressure on town centre car parks, some of which are closed for the event.

Booths Hall is one mile outside Knutsford and has 1,000 spaces to allow visitors to park for free and board the free bus.

Passengers will be asked to wear a face mask where an exemption does not prevent this, and donations will be collected by volunteers from the Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme.