The Manchester Christmas markets reopened earlier this month, bringing the Christmas spirit back to Manchester as it marks it’s 25th anniversary.
With over 225 stalls across the city, Yorkshire pudding wraps, mini Dutch pancakes, and German Bratwursts are staple foods of the markets, but with the ongoing cost of living crisis, some people are putting off visiting the Christmas Markets.
Louise Richardson, a 45-year-old Salfordian Mum, returns to the markets every year with her children but highlighted that many of the attractions are too expensive.
She said: “I’ve been and walked around the Christmas markets every year, but I can’t justify spending that much money on food and drinks when I’ve got presents to buy, a house to keep warm, and children to feed. It’s still nice to see all the markets, but it’s hard telling my kids we just have to walk around as everything has shot up in price.”
The increasing prices are certainly a topic of discussion, but the Christmas markets wouldn’t be what they are without the regular return of customer favourites.
Chris Maddock, a 52-year-old man from Salford, said: “If I’m honest, coming to the markets wouldn’t be my first choice, but my wife wanted to come and see if there was any gifts for our grandkids, it’s so close to get to… After walking around, it’s a nice atmosphere with everyone out, drinking and enjoying themselves, but for some of the options like the food and gifts, it’s a bit too expensive for my liking.”
The infamous Bratwurst hotdogs will now cost £7.50, which has increased by £3 since 2019, and many are arguing that they just simply can’t justify spending this with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
With the latest figures available from 2017, it showed that each year, the Manchester Christmas markets draws in over 9 million visitors, and according to Local Government Association, “Christmas markets generated at least £500 million to the economy in 2017.”
Alice Fryer, a 23-year-old young professional living in Salford, moved to the city this year and gave her thoughts on the markets.
She said: “I moved here in October by myself, and I’ll admit, for some stuff, it can be a bit expensive, but I’ve avoided going to them, and for other stuff, like £3 for a hot chocolate, I think is reasonable. There’s not as much going on in Salford at this scale, but everyone’s in the Christmas spirit, it’s really lovely, I feel like making the journey in is so worth it.”
Manchester’s festive markets have been declared one of the UK’s ‘most affordable’ despite the extortionate pricing, showing that many across the country are also dealing with the same issues as a result of the cost of living crisis.