Lincoln Christmas Market has grown dramatically since it all began with a few attractions in Castle Hill back in December 1982.
But two of original stalls remain to this day – in exactly the same locations.
The Lincoln section of the Feucht Fröhliche Neustadter (FFN) wine appreciation, town twinning and charity organisation and the Red Baron German sausage stalls have been at all of the markets.
In fact, the FFN founded Lincoln Christmas Market following a Christmas visit with city councillors to Lincoln’s German twin town Neustadt an der Weinstrasse.
Fast-forward to December 2021 and FFN members are in good spirits and fine voice as they serve the German mulled wine called glühwein.
FFN member Kevin Brewer, 39, said it was incredible to be back at the market after the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the pandemic.
He said: “The opening day was one of the busiest we have ever had.”
Mr Brewer said the group usually raises thousands of pounds a year for local charities and good causes from its stall and he anticipated a record amount could be raised this year.
He said that one of the major headaches this year was sourcing the glühwein because of customs delays and red tape.
“It was a worrying time,” he said.
“In the end, the guy we use to bring it in by container just sent a driver to Germany to pick it up for us.
“We were very near to not having any glühwein.”
The FFN orders a staggering 1,200 litres of the spiced wine.
Mr Brewer said: “We are normally close to the point of selling out.
“This year, I would not be surprised if that happens by the end of the second day.
“That has only happened three times in all of the time we have been doing this.”
The red wine comes from the Neustadt region and is made to a closely-guarded recipe and served warm at 80C.
Mr Brewer said: “The recipe is made to our taste.
“It is the same every year, exactly as it ever was.”
Sadly, the FFN’s German counterparts were unable to attend this year due to the pandemic.
“What we are looking at in future is for them to come over and work on our stall,” said Mr Brewer.
Thomas Wilkinson, 62, travelled from Portsmouth to man his sausage stall, the Red Baron.
Mr Wilkinson, whose brother Alan took the same cabin to the very first market, said: “The most popular sausage we sell is the bratwurst.
“We also sell frikadelle, which is like a burger, grillwurst, a smoke sausage with a hint of garlic, and currywurst.”
“We only missed two years since 1982 – 2010 because of snow and last year because of Covid.
“It’s lovely to be back.”