THE final day of York's popular Christmas market attracted big crowds of shoppers, despite the rain.

The annual St Nicholas Fair, which was launched on November 15, has transformed the city centre over recent weeks.

As well as the magical market stalls in Parliament Street, this year's event has included a fairground in Kings Square, festive food and drink in St Sampson’s Square, a Small Business Christmas Market in The Judge’s Lodging, and a Santa’s Grotto at Coppergate.

The Press spoke to traders working from the traditional chalets in Parliament Street, and they have praised this year's event.

Andy Herrington, from Ainsty Ales, which has a brewery at Acaster Malbis, said: "We've been here the last two weeks.

"It has been really good, we've been busy. It's definitely worthwhile doing it as a small York business. We would like to do it again.

"It has been nice meeting lots of people who have heard of Ainsty Ales but don't know where the brewery is."

Johnson Crafts has run a stall at the fair for the whole event, selling watches and jewellery.

Robyn Johnson, from the business, commented: "It has gone amazing.

"It has been really busy. It is atmospheric.

"We have done well."

Dan Brauskas, from Demize Collectibles, added: "We've been here for the whole thing.

"We've found it pretty good. We have done alright.

"I can't fault how busy it has been. The weekends are crazy."

However, he believes the stalls "cost a bit too much." "We have had to pay £10,000 for a double stall," he said.

Earlier this month, Green Party councillor Denise Craghill said York runs the risk of becoming a "victim of its own success" because of the busy market.

It came after some readers, commenting on The Press website, said the attraction was “hell” on the weekend of December 8 and 9.

Cllr Craghill commented: “Personally I like the atmosphere most of the time, but we need to avoid becoming victims of our own success.

“We should check that traders in the city are actually benefiting – large crowds, especially if they can’t move around easily, are not automatically large spenders.”

Council chiefs pledged to look at ways of making it easier to move around the market.