DARLINGTON’S independent retailers and food producers will be showcasing their wares to shoppers at a series of special Christmas events next month (December).

From 1 to 24 December, the town’s Market Square will be home to a Spiegeltent – a giant, wooden marquee which will form the focus of the Christmas festivities.

And every Thursday to Sunday for the first three weeks of December, local businesses will be selling gifts, decorations, accessories and home wares at Festive Shopping Villages within the Spiegeltent.

Among those taking part are the Yorkshire Linen Company, Grace Normal Designs and gift company Harriet Isobella, while Vericrafti will be selling a range of handcrafted and individually designed jewellery and gifts.

For those looking for a traditional and quirky present, The Nostalgia Shop will be displaying a variety of vintage original adverts, prints, collector card sets and other memorabilia, while Orange Grove Crafts will offer a range of gifts and home accessories.

The region’s food producers will also be setting up stall, selling everything from chocolate and chutney to sloe gin and a variety of Christmas tipples.

And for those in need of a break from shopping, Darlington’s Hole in the Wall will be running a fully licensed bar every day from 10am, serving hot and soft drinks along with real ales, wines and spirits.

For serious foodies, a Street Food Market will also be held every Thursday in December.

Thai cuisine, traditional Greek dishes, pizza and waffles will be just some of the treats on offer from pop up street food stalls – taking visitors on a culinary journey in the Market Square outside the Spiegeltent.

The ornately decorated structure will also form the venue for live shows, music and dance performances along with arts and crafts sessions.

For those keen to give a professional touch to their gifts this year, the Spiegeltent will be providing a present wrapping service on 22 and 23 December.

And Santa and his elves will also be paying several visits to a special grotto in the Spiegeltent in the run up to Christmas.

The Festive Shopping Village is free to visit and will be open on Thursday from 10am to 8pm, on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The Street Food Market will be held every Thursday in December from 4pm to 9pm.

For further information about Distinct Darlington’s Christmas schedule – including dates and times of events – visit www.christmasindarlington.co.uk.