Christmas markets & events in Champagne-Ardenne

Christmas provides a great opportunity for a winter week-end break in Champagne-Ardenne...

Christmas provides a great opportunity for a winter week-end break in Champagne-Ardenne. Indeed, during the Christmas period, the region brings communities together for rejoicing, shopping, visiting Santa Claus, sampling the local goods and listening to festive music. Following is just a short selection of the wonderful markets and events that await you in the region.Reims holds one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe with more than 125 wooden chalet stalls, as well as an open air skating rink (from 20 November to 27 December 2009). The market is held in the tree-lined pedestrianised streets of the city centre. There is also a varied programme of choral concerts, special events and exhibitions throughout the festive season including "A thousand and one Christmases"  (27 Nov - 17 Jan 2010): an exhibition of beautiful cribs exhibited in the historic setting of the Palais du Tau.Further information: Reims Tourism Office – www.reims-tourism.comThe town of Epernay will sparkle for its 10th anniversary of Christmas lights (Habits de Lumi�re) that will be held from 11 to 13 December 2009. Conviviality and the art of living will be part of this festival. The programme is devised around 3 major events for its 30,000 visitors: the opening ceremony on Friday (with, on the Avenue de Champagne, the lighting up of the elegant Champagne houses, street show and orchestras, champagne bars of course, fireworks), the Tasting Event (Habits de Saveurs) on Saturday and the Car Show on Sunday. Further information: Epernay Tourism Office – www.ot-epernay.fr/-Welcome-At Troyes Cathedral, an original crib will be presented with a setting made of faces of men and women from all ages and conditions, sculpted on the misericords of the stall choir... A musical and spiritual meeting on the Christmas theme on Christmas Day at 5 p.m.: organ music and a spiritual visit of the Cathedral at 3 p.m. Further information: Troyes Tourism Office - www.tourism-troyes.comIn Charleville-M�zi�res, the famous Place Ducale celebrates Christmas from December 12 to 24. Saint Nicholas, a strong symbol in the North East of France, will also be present at the occasion. An open-air skating rink will be installed on the Place. It will also be possible to take pictures with Santa Claus and to ask for dedications. Further information: Charleville-M�zi�res Tourism Office: www.charleville-mezieres.orgFurther touristic information about the Champagne-Ardenne region on: www.champagne-ardenne-tourism.co.uk