WATCH: Traders happy to welcome crowds back to Belfast Christmas Market

Traders were pleased to be back at Belfast Christmas Market this year, reporting a bumper weekend and steady trading so far this week.

By Graeme Cousins
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 5:28 pm

The market returned on Saturday with stall holders pleased to be rushed off their feet as people queued to get into the attraction which was put on hold last year due to the pandemic.

Lucy Pickering from OutsideIn, a Belfast-based streetwear company, said: “It’s been great, it’s been so nice to get back after not being here last year because of Covid.

“Oh my goodness, the weekend was just hectic. The queue was right round the back of City Hall. The weekend was busy, the weekdays have been steady.”

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Lucy Pickering at the OutsideIn stall close to the entrance of the Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall

The company is also giving something back to society with each purchase.

Lucy said: “With every product purchased from us we give another product to someone experiencing homelessness. It works out that when you buy a hat we give one of our thermal beanies ... whether that’s through our partner charities or also through our street team who go out around the streets of Belfast.

“Or for example if you buy one of our sweaters we give out three pairs of socks.”

Dominik Grzyb has brought magic snow from Poland to Belfast, where he has taken a stall at the Christmas Market for the first time.

An aerial view of the helter skelter at Belfast Christmas Market

He said: “You just add a little water and you have snow – you can use it to decorate your home or your Christmas tree. This type of snow is used in a lot of movies.”

He said: “It is my first time in Belfast. It has been busy here, I hope to come back.”

James Watson, who has been manning the Chimney Cakes stall, said: “The weekend was as can be expected down here – flat out, and then we’ve been nice and steady all week.

“These guys have been coming here for four years, but this is my first year working here.”

Chimney Cakes are the sweetest of sweet treats from the makers of Rossi’s ice cream.

James said: “The idea came from Canada, our great and fearless leader Anita was out there and came back with the idea and thought, ‘Northern Ireland needs this’.”

The boys from the NI Classic Shirt Co, which is based in Smithfield Market, are making their debut at City Hall.

They specialise in vintage football shirts and unique memorabilia such as artwork of star players and prints of club legends depicted as Subbuteo players.

Peter McDonald said: “It was a very busy weekend, very, very positive. There’s been a lot of interest, we’ve had a lot of good chats with football fans.”

Asked which player was shifting the most units, Peter said: “Salah is outselling Ronaldo by about two to one.”

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