In 2004, Bradford played host to the largest outdoor market event ever and following its huge success (over 650,000 visitors) it will be returning to the city, as part of Bradford’s Big Summer, after spending 2005 in Trieste, Italy.
This year’s International Market promises to be even bigger, with more than 250 stalls stretching to nearly 1000 metres with stallholders from countries such as France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland, Ireland, and Belgium. There will also be fine home-grown produce from Yorkshire and several local ethnic communities. London’s award winning Borough Market will also be returning with a much larger selection of the food that made them Market of the Year in last year’s Observer Food Monthly competition. A fine selection of goods should also be on offer from Fair Trade stall holders as well as the city’s first Quality Art Market enabling the artistic talents of the district to follow in the footsteps of Bradford’s own David Hockney. Other highlights include a giant fun fair and a new Sports Action Zone which will be found in the northern quarter of the city centre.
Professional entertainers and street artists from across Europe will help bring a smile to visitors’ faces as they wander through the stalls, absorbing the smells and tastes of quality products such as freshly prepared bread, cheese and South Asian cuisine. In addition, visitors will be able to enjoy a refreshing drink at the fantastic Champagne and Pimms Bar, the Bavarian Bier Kellers or the exotic summer fruit smoothie bar.
There will be something for everyone as over 60 hours of music, dance and theatre from around the world will take the entertainment well into the evenings.
Councillor Andrew Mallinson, Bradford Councils Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We hope that this will again be an amazing spectacle for everybody over the August bank holiday weekend. In 2004 we were hoping for around 300,000 and more than 650,000 came to the city to sample the excellent food and goods on offer at the market. It was a real boost for Bradford and hopefully it will be again particularly as the city is currently going through major regeneration.”
A celebration evening at the end of the first day’s trading will take place in Centenary Square on Friday 25th August to welcome the European traders and wow the crowds of visitors. The theme for the evening, in keeping with the event overall, will be ‘flava of the world’. So from 7.30pm onwards, the crowds can look forward to the African Acrobatic troupe from Tanzania, the Black Eagles, the fantastic aerial silk work of Arabesque and the laughter inducing and perfectly formed Village Disco.
Following the Lord Mayor’s welcome (from 8.30pm onwards) the show’s finale kicks off with the stunningly dramatic Heliosphere and the truly innovative and incredible Diamond Aerialists. The evening ends with a firework fanfare spectacular at 9.40pm.
Malcolm Veigas, Head of Service for the Councils Markets Service and Interim Head for the Parks & Landscapes Service said: “As a city we feel we are very fortunate to be holding an event of this scale. The opening ceremony in 2004 was truly fantastic and we expect this year’s welcome to be just as breath taking. Visitors coming into Bradford will be amazed by the transformation of our city centre. The International Market has taken many months of careful planning and preparation and I hope that everyone who visits has a fantastic time and remembers it for years to come.”
Bradford’s Big Summer, of which this event is part, is a plethora of fantastic fun-packed events, which will be crammed into a busy summer entertainment schedule for the city. For four months, between June and September, there will be an event almost every week. Hot on the heels of the International Market on 31st August, comes the opening leg of the Tour of Britain cycle race which begins in Bradford City centre before travelling the county. The following weekend sees ‘Music in Myrtle’ and ‘Party in the Park’ in Bingley with the Big Summer finale being the Saltaire Community Festival based around the UNSECO World Heritage Site of Salts Mill in mid September. For more information on Big Summer events contact 01274 432443 /438849 or visit www.bigsummer.info.