Everything you need to know about this weekend's South Shields Christmas Market
South Shields market is set to be transformed in to a festive wonderland this weekend in a bid to help restore the town centre to its former glory.
On Saturday, December 7, Market Square will play host to more than 70 stalls selling a variety of festive goods and gifts, while an impressive line-up of entertainers will bring Christmas cheer to shoppers.
Jarrow businesswoman Carol Gibson and business owner Josh Trueman have joined forces with the help of market manager, David Amess, to put on the event following the overwhelming response to their Facebook group ‘Bring South Shields market back to the way it is.’
The group was set up to garner support for the scheme to bring the once-thriving market place back to life and within 24 hours of it being set up it attracted more than 3,000 members, with a number of traders getting in touch to take up stalls.
Now the group has more than 8,000 members.
After securing the backing of South Tyneside Council to host a one-off Christmas market, the event is set to take place from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, December 7.
It will feature the likes of arts and craft stalls, international food stalls and stalls selling clothes, shoes and gifts.
Free entertainment will be taking place throughout the day outside of The Word in Market Square, kicking off with a 90-strong choir at 10am.
It will be followed by a line dance performance at 11am, then sibling duo Sasha and David France at 11.30am.
Talented singer Amelia Saleh will then perform at 12pm, followed by singer Lilly Cooke at 12.30pm.
Other performers include dance troupes and choirs.
Children will also be able to visit Santa in a magical Christmas grotto at the market as well as enjoying rides on a fairground.
Free parking will be available at a number of South Tyneside Council car parks.
And people are set to travel from across the region to get in on the action, to the delight of organiser Carol who hopes the first event will be a success.
Carol, 53, said: “The event will feature nine different performers on the day along with 73 different stalls.
“Richmond Taxis are putting on a service from the Transport Interchange to the market itself and are accepting donations on behalf of Cancer Research UK.
“It has been four weeks of hard work in the making.
“My family are from South Shields and we have all seen changes in the town and decline in footfall over the years.
“It started off as a market town and there is no reason why the market can’t be like the ones in York and other market towns.”
The town centre is currently in the middle of the £100million 365 regeneration scheme, which has included a revamped market place and new transport interchange.
Following the fair the team are planning an initial run of six events in early 2020.