THE wet and cold weather did not deter hundreds of people visiting Blackburn’s first German Christmas market.

On its first official weekend of trading families, couples and friends spent their afternoon looking around the 26 specially imported chalets which ranged from personalised Christmas decorations, bratwurst sausages, mulled wine and more.

Kerry Woods, who visited the stalls with her partner Dan Burton and two children Millie Jenkinson and Ethan Woods, said: “I think the markets have been great.

“There’s a lot to see and try out and it is all on your doorstep.

“We would have to have got the train or driven to Manchester to see their markets otherwise, which would have cost a lot of money and a lot of time.

“I hope it becomes a regular event and returns next year.”

Ethan said his marshmallows were really tasty and he really enjoyed the market.

Other chalets offer craft jewellery, Christmas cactuses, African figures and craft goods.

There was also a variety of fairground rides to enjoy, and live music taking place in the evening.

Sally Wright, who was selling crêpe bubble waffles and chocolate covered marshmallows, said the markets are a positive addition for the town.

She said: “I think its been impressive, its the first time there’s been a market like this and I think it has gone really well.

“Everyone has been in a really festive mood and in high spirits, despite the miserable weather.

“There’s a lot of variety on offer which is good.”

The characterful timber chalets have been specially imported by Retail Alternatives from the German city of Flensburg which holds an major annual Christmas Market.

Lisa Hammerton, who was selling churros and fudge, said: “We’ve had a busy first few days and its been going very smoothly.

“It gets families out and it means they can have a festive day without planning a large day out to a city or another town.”

Steve Hogg, who was sampling a festive tipple at the beer stall, said: “Anything that supports and boosts the economy for Blackburn and its town centre is great by me.”

Goods on offer include halal and traditional festive food stalls, two bars, an Indian food chalet, a gourmet burger stall, a crepes outlet, and a coffee and chocolate chalet.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss, said: “The markets have been great.

“We can’t control the miserable weather we’ve been having this week but hopefully if it settles down in the next few days we could a really busy market.

“If its successful we can look into holding another market next year.”

Blackburn’s Christmas parade finished off at the market with a festive performance and a visit from Father Christmas.

The market will open from 10.30 am to 6pm Sunday to Wednesday and until 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The markets opened up last Thursday will be open every day to Sunday December 23.