Birmingham’s German Christmas market turned out to be a red-hot attraction again this year, despite the snow and icy weather.
An estimated record 3.1 million people drank gluhwein, ate frankfurters and browsed among stalls at popular attraction in New Street and Victoria Square.
Attendance figures at this year’s Frankfurt Market, which closed yesterday (December 23), were slightly up on last year, according to Birmingham City Council.
Council leader Mike Whitby said he was proud that Birmingham continued to host the largest German market outside of Germany and Austria.
Coun Whitby (Con Harborne) added: “The Frankfurt Christmas Market is now firmly established in the city’s calendar and attracts visitors from far and wide.
“Many visitors come from outside of the city and the market provides an excellent opportunity for Birmingham to showcase its wider retail offering.”
Since it began in 2001, the market has doubled in size and generates millions of pounds for the city centre economy.
Its bars and hot-food stalls have become a popular place for office Christmas parties.
Stallholders continued with their annual tradition of giving leftover perishable goods to local charities.
Donations of produce such as ham, waffles, sausages, pretzels, vegetables and fruit will go to the King Lodge Children’s Home, the Salvation Army, St Basil’s and Trident Reach.
Coun Whitby added: “Once again I commend the stallholders for their generosity.
“Every year they are warmly welcomed to the city by shoppers and they show their appreciation in one of the most generous ways possible, by offering some Christmas cheer to people in need.”
Nadine Loewenthal, spokeswoman for the traders, said: “The Frankfurt stallholders are always delighted by the support shown by customers from Birmingham and beyond. This is a city that knows how to celebrate Christmas.
“The handover of our leftover produce gives something back to a city that never fails to make us feel so welcome.”