The Lille Christmas Market is the first one I have attended in France. Lille bills itself as the most Flemish town in France. It’s thoroughly French in language but the architecture is more Flemish-Dutch. It is the heart of French Flanders and the market is in the heart of Lille. The Lille Christmas Market had crafts and that interested me more than the others I visited this year (2015). One of my favorite booths was presided over by a man who bends flatware, especially forks, into fantastic, whimsical statues. This market has lots of local artisans and crafts people showing off, and selling their wares. It’s the type of market I love.
While most of the crafts were local there were a few “international” booths from Denmark and Quebec, there by invitation. The Danish booth sold smoked meats. There were two Canadian booths. The first featured crafts from First Nations’ people, dream catchers and the like. The second was basically a beer tent with everything from Molson Canadian to craft beers with polar bears and reindeer on the labels. The Canadian beer tent was one of the best attended at the fair.
There was also a great variety of food, Belgian Waffles with French sauces, both Glughwein and fine wine, foie gras, cakes, pastries and sweets as you would expect of a fair in France.
The centerpiece of the Lille Market is a 50 meter (162 and a half foot) tall “View Wheel.” I would call it a Ferris Wheel. I convinced Suzi to ride with me on the wheel and we were rewarded with a wonderful view of booth the market, spreading over two city squares, and the city beyond.