Record Visitors at 2009 Haslemere Christmas Market

A record number of visitors enjoyed a record number of stalls at this year’s award winning Haslemere Christmas Market.

The early morning downpour and heavy clouds disappeared as the market opened and organisers, volunteers and stallholders breathed a sigh of relief as around 10,000 visitors thronged the streets creating a lively atmosphere and brisk trade for the two hundred stallholders selling high quality gifts and foods.

One of the market organisers Iain Lynch of Waverley Borough Council said “The 9th Christmas market has again seen great community effort to make something really special for Haslemere. Volunteers worked from 4am to get everything in place for a successful day at what has become one of the largest Christmas markets in the South East. “

The market was held in the High Street, West Street, the Haslemere Hall and the Georgian Hotel whilst many local businesses also opened for the special event.

Customers enjoyed entertainment from the Haslemere Town Band, Theatre Monkeys and the PG Goodenough’s wandering jazz band. Father Christmas made a special visit and Kidsrome children’s farm provided a live nativity.

Portfolio holder for the local economy Cllr Robert Knowles said: “Waverley has been pleased to help organise another very successful Christmas Market in Haslemere. It is a wonderful day for the local community and helps showcase some fantastic local businesses. I would urge all our communities to continue to support businesses in the High Streets across the Borough in the run up to Christmas and over the coming months. By doing this we will help sustain local independent businesses and the local economy”.

Haslemere Chamber of Trade’s President, Melissa King said of this year’s Christmas market: “This event has become a true feather in Haslemere’s cap and a real asset to the Town’s already thriving calendar. It was wonderful to see so many shops and businesses open and supporting the market and they will undoubtedly have made the most of so many visitors and potential new customers. We certainly have people returning to our shop (Marley Flowers) after the market who become loyal customers at other times too. There is always such a ‘feel good’ factor to the day, a family occasion with a great atmosphere and fantastic publicity for our town.”

Haslemere Mayor Melanie Odell who has been one of the main organisers of the market since its inception paid tribute to the volunteers behind the scenes who helped make the market such a success: “This was without doubt the best Christmas market yet and surpassed all our expectations with more stalls and customers than ever before. I should like to thank Waverley Borough Council and all the volunteers and businesses who gave their support to make this a wonderful day. I hope that more businesses will join us next year to make our 10th anniversary a special one to remember.”

The 2010 Christmas Market will take place on Sunday 5 December.