Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Anticipation builds for return of German Christmas Market

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Media opportunity: all media are invited to attend the official opening of the Frankfurter-Scheune with a barrel tapping ceremony by Lord Mayor Councillor Jim McKenna and Lady Mayoress Andrea McKenna Friday 12 November at 5.15pm on Millennium Square. Please email or call 0113 2478285 to confirm attendance.


The now legendary Christkindelmarkt German Christmas Market returns to Leeds Millennium Square this week – bringing a unique continental-style festive atmosphere to the heart of the city centre.

With over 40 German traders creating a scenic winter village of traditional wooden chalet stalls Christkindelmarkt is one of the biggest and best established traditional Christmas markets in the UK .

And with over a quarter of a million visitors expected as well as being voted the number one market by visitors to it is also one of the most popular.

Enticed at every turn by tantalising aromas from the large variety of traditional German delicacies visitors will find; gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, snitzels, soups and goulash, stollen, gingerbread, roasted nuts and candied fruits to name but a few.

Open daily from Friday 12 November until Sunday 19 December the Christkindelmarkt offers a little something for everyone including handcrafted seasonal gift ideas, toys, jewellery, Christmas cards and unique festive decorations.

The hugely popular Frankfurter-Scheune forms the market’s buzzing centrepiece. The only one of its kind in the UK it is an authentic Bierkeller serving up real German bier, a specialist food menu and regular musical entertainment with an authentic German show band.

Beautifully hand-crafted inside and out the Frankfurter-Scheune is a must see attraction and the ideal venue for all office gatherings and Christmas parties. Advanced bookings available for small or large groups Monday to Thursday evenings (subject to availability) and for further reservation information and to make a booking email

Aside from the market there is also a selection of family funfair rides from the traditional carousel to dodgems. The market and funfair opens daily from 10.30am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 8pm on Sundays. The ‘Frankfurter Scheune' bierkeller and selected stalls open late until 11pm. Due to arrangements for Remembrance Sunday on 14 November the market will not open until 12pm.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“If you haven’t yet experienced the incredible atmosphere of this bustling market you must make a point of visiting this year. People come from miles around to soak up the festive smells, taste the delicious food and enjoy the warming sights of this vibrant event which has quickly become a great annual tradition and visitor attraction for the city.”

Now in its 9th year, Christkindelmarkt is organised by Leeds City Council in conjunction with Frankfurt City Council and supported by media partners Real Radio and the Yorkshire Evening Post .

Managing director of Real Radio Yorkshire Steve South said:

“Real Radio is delighted to be part of the Leeds German Christmas Market once again. It gives people from all around the opportunity to buy some really unique gifts for Christmas or to stroll around and have a relaxing time with family and friends in the fantastic festive atmosphere.”

For more information, call Leeds City Council’s events team on 0113 395 0891 or visit For further information of what is on and an essential guide on where to travel, shop, play and stay in Leeds during the festive season, visit


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email:

The Carriageworks gets ready to party

Caption: The Carriageworks which turns five this week and (top image) the winning competition entry by five-year-old Connor Wright

The Carriageworks theatre in Leeds turns five years old this week with a special free event open to all.

As part of the birthday celebrations, the doors of the venue off Millennium Square will be thrown open for a free evening of events and activities from 6:15pm on Thursday 11 November (tomorrow).

To show off the diverse range of shows and attractions which have made The Carriageworks one of the fastest-growing theatres in the UK, a showcase of music and dance will be on display around the building. At 7:15pm the action will then move to the main auditorium for special performances by Leeds-based Red Ladder Theatre Company, Carriageworks-supported artist Naomi Rothwell and The Carriageworks’ very own Theatre Academy. There will also be contributions from the Leeds Civic Arts Guild, the association of amateur companies who are based in the venue.

Thursday marks five years since The Carriageworks first opened to the public on 11 November 2005, and the venue quickly established itself at the heart of the arts and cultural scene in the city.

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All media are invited to the VIP celebration event at The Carriageworks at 5:30pm on Thursday 11 November. The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Jim McKenna will be meeting invited guests and local theatre performers as well as presenting competition winner Connor Wright with his 'golden ticket' prize.

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Over the last five years The Carriageworks has hosted almost 750 different shows, with over 1700 individual performances enjoyed by a combined audience of approximately 250,000 people. The attendance figure is continuing to buck the national trend and the economic downturn by rising year-on-year with the current season the most successful yet, with 2,000 extra attendances compared to the same time last year and the forthcoming Christmas pantomime ‘Cinderella’ (which runs from December 3 2010 to January 8 2011) well on course to smash The Carriageworks record for advance and total sales.

The venue has already attracted big-name established comedy performers such as Eddie Izzard, Simon Amstell and Tommy Tiernan, while it is also gaining national recognition for showcasing the best new theatre-makers in the country. The extensive conference and event facilities have also proved hugely popular, with hundreds of businesses and organisations hosting events and activities at The Carriageworks.

As part of the birthday celebrations, The Carriageworks ran a competition around the use of the number five, with the winner claiming a priceless ‘golden ticket’ to attend any shows they wish to for the next 12 months for free. The winner, five-year-old Connor Wright from Beeston, will be given the VIP treatment on Thursday night as he receives his prize from the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jim McKenna.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“The Carriageworks has proved even more successful in its first five years than anyone could have imagined, and it would be great to see people of all ages there on Thursday night to help us celebrate this special birthday.

“As a venue The Carriageworks has quickly established a national reputation for excellence and so everyone involved should be very proud. We look forward to more fantastic shows there over the next five years!”

For further information about The Carriageworks visit the website at

Notes to editors:
1. Admission to the Big Birthday Bash is free, with no need to book.
2. Press tickets and interviews for all shows are available on request. Tickets available from the Box Office on 0113 2243801 or online at
3. The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best new national and regional performance with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it provides support to young and emerging theatre makers, offering them a key platform to develop their work. The Carriageworks also gives opportunities for members of the local community to take part in a variety of high quality arts activities, and is home to the Leeds Civic Arts Guild. This is an umbrella group of performing societies offering the opportunity for local people to experience making theatre in a fully-functioning professional venue.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: