Lille’s Christmas Market officially takes place from 19 November to 30 December 2011 (although the Big Wheel (la Grand’Roue)and the hutted Christmas village often get set up a little earlier.
In the heart of winter, Lille sparkles and glows with “joie de vivre”! With the wave of a magic wand, the city takes on a festive atmosphere and welcomes you to a winter wonderland. On Place Rihour, more than 80 chalets teem with gift ideas, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and festive food. You can find regional specialities here, and you can also find arts and crafts from Russia, Poland, and Québec, as well as products from Native America. And that’s not to forget the gingerbread and other delicacies which you can take away or eat on the spot with a glass of mulled wine…
On the Main Square, amidst the sumptuous decorations and as Christmas carols fill the air, the Big Wheel turns majestically. Its height of 50 metres ensures guests have a stunning view of the city.
If you have time and inclination then it is worth a visit to la Piscine at nearby Roubaix, which is a converted municipal art deco- swimming pool which retains part of the pool as a centre piece, whilst the old changing cubicles hold exhibits. The building houses the Museum of Science and Industry which celebrates the town’s industrial heritage when it was a centre for the textile industry – see www.roubaix-lapiscine.com/