THERE is a double reason to celebrate in Stockton this weekend (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 December.)
Not only is it the final weekend of the annual Christmas Festival, Stockton Sparkles, but the town's market is also celebrating the end of its 700th anniversary year.
In 1310 Bishop Bek of Durham signed a charter proclaiming: "to our town of Stockton a market upon every Wednesday for ever" - and since then the market has brought Stockton's High Street alive with a blaze of noise and colour each Wednesday and Saturday and this Saturday will be no different.
Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Mary Womphrey, said: "This has been a landmark year for Stockton's Market. It is at the heart of the town's history and continues to serve the local community today.
"What better way to end the 700th anniversary celebrations than to encourage people living across Stockton Borough to come to the town to support the local market traders while also enjoying our Christmas festivities."
Market traders and shoppers alike will be entertained by an abundance of unique street entertainment including: Titan the 8 feet tall interactive robot, 'Hieronymus' the part animal, part mechanical hippo and an interactive performance by 'two wisemen' searching for a third recruit.
There will also be carol singing from the Victorian Society and the Salvation Army.
For further information visit www.stocktonsparkles.com