Christmas markets tonight

THERE'S no better place for those one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts than the Summer Sunset Markets, held tonight along Crawford Street out the front of Council chambers.

And this evening's markets will have a faint Scottish and Irish flavour, with a tartan-clad caravan among the stall holders, selling some delicious Scottish, Irish and Australian cuisine.

The Kilted Van fundraises on behalf of the Canberra Celtic Pipes and Drums Band. Fundraising co-ordinator and drummer Alex Crawford said the stirring sounds of bagpipes and drums would waft through the evening air tonight, along with the smell of traditional Scottish, Irish and Australian sausages and pies, and even that traditional Scottish delicacy haggis.

"We are the only self-funded pipe band in the whole Canberra and Queanbeyan region," Mr Crawford said.

"We're also unique because we do piping and drumming as well as Irish and Scottish dancing all in one," he said.

As well as performing some pipes and drums songs with traditional dancing demonstrations for market-goers, the van also sells Scottish Lorne sausage, Irish pork and garlic, and Australian angus beef sausage, as well as an angus pie, a lamb and potato pie, a Scottish pie, and a steak and guiness pie.

"The van has been set up to accommodate Australian, Irish and Scottish foods, hence that's what the band is all about as well," Mr Crawford said.

"We serve traditional haggis on a roll as well. And it's quite amazing how many people will give it a burl, or how many people have had it and really like it."

Mayor Tim Overall said the markets were now getting into full-swing for the season and the two pre-Christmas markets were attracting lots of stalls.

"There will be over 30 stalls at these two markets before Christmas. If you've never been to the markets now is the time to come along and see what's on offer," he said.

The markets have a relaxed family atmosphere and are an ideal place to bring the family for something to eat, listen to music and do some stress-free browsing and shopping.

You will find everything from plants to birdseed, children's clothing, gourmet foods, Greek kebabs and Egyptian pastries, handmade jewellery and woodcrafts.

Another Summer Sunset Markets will be held before Christmas, scheduled for Friday, December 13.

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