FAMILIES FLOCK TO THE FIRST HILLSBOROUGH CHRISTMAS MARKET
Over 3,000 members of the public descended on Dark Walk at Hillsborough Fort on Friday 14th December, to support local artisan food producers and craftspeople in the first Hillsborough Christmas Market, hosted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
Food and crafts lovers from across Northern Ireland spent the evening enjoying the many seasonal foods and flavours on offer from some of the finest artisan producers including Abernethy Butter, Ke Nako Biltong, Bara Bakehouse, Harnett’s Oils, Deli Muru, Crumbs Vegan Bakery and The Hatch, among many others.
In addition to the fabulous choice of food and drink on offer in Hillsborough, the Christmas Market also offered customers the chance to support their local crafts makers during the Christmas gift-buying season. A select range of seasonally themed crafts was on offer from creatives and makers at the stall of Hillsborough-based design shop, In Klover. The growing demand for specialist, natural handmade skincare products was met with Plumpy Balms, Mrs Rganics and Sorella in attendance. They were joined by craftspeople including Wee Yarn Designs, Ellie Mac Candles, Claire Newell Ceramics and print makers including Nathan Cranston and Susanna Banks.
Whilst browsing the stalls along Dark Walk, visitors to the Hillsborough Christmas Market were treated to the magical festive sounds of local school choirs and instrumentalists, including Downshire Primary School and Friends’ School Lisburn. As this was a family event, children were encouraged to get involved with craft workshops to make their own personalised Christmas tree decorations and to see Santa Claus himself!
Speaking about the event, Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee said: “The first Hillsborough Christmas Market has been a huge success for the Council and we are delighted with the number of visitors who made the journey to Hillsborough for this festive event. Northern Ireland is earning an international reputation for the high-quality local food, drink and craft producers and it was great to see so many of them at Hillsborough Christmas Market.”
Reflecting on the need to continue supporting local traders, the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Uel Mackin, added: “It was great to see so many people from the local community and further afield turning out to support our local food and craft producers, especially in the run up to Christmas. Equally as pleasing is to see the positive trade reported by the businesses in the village who stayed open late in conjunction with the market.”