THE city's streets were thronging with people as the popular Victorian fayre returned after being cancelled last year.

Excited shoppers piled on to the High Street and surrounding roads to enjoy the stalls, entertainment and food on offer.

Traditionally, Worcester's Victorian Christmas Fayre brings in around 100,000 people to the city over its four days.

The first day was opened by children's choirs from St Barnabas Primary School in Bell Square followed by Red Hill in Cathedral Square.

Almost 200 stalls will fill the city centre until Sunday selling Christmas gifts, jewellery, and all kinds of food and drink from boozy hot chocolates to German sausages.

For many retailers in the city, the fair is a welcome boost to trade after a difficult 18 months with covid lockdowns and restrictions.

Andy Yue from Ping-An on Pump Street was working on a stall outside the front of the shop.

He said: "We hope it will be as busy as it usually is because it is what gets us through January and February.

"We work really hard for four days and always enjoy seeing our regulars come back each year.

"We missed them last year or so and hopefully we will see them all come back again."

For Becca Bailey, from Kidderminster, it is a welcome return to Christmas markets after setting up Becca's Cake House stall in 2019.

"We had our first Christmas switch on in December 2019 and 2020 was supposed to be the year to do as many stalls as possible.

"Last weekend I was supposed to be doing one but because of the weather it had to be scaled back so I had my fingers and toes crossed that this would go ahead.

"It's the first big event I have done."

Many restaurants and bars have stalls outside their shops including Chesters, Tiki Bar, Bottles and Be The Change.

Antony Chesher, co-owner of Be The Change, said: "It will definitely give us a boost.

"Usually it doubles sales for the week which is great.

"I think what's really nice for us is a lot of our customers are vegan and vegetarians and can feel they are not catered for during the event.

"We're in a position to help them be included so they can come and still enjoy all the fun of the fair.

"Our options are matching traditional offering like boozy hot chocolates or turkey sandwiches and we are doing vegan versions so it's not like they're getting sub par offerings."

He added they plan to keep both the Cornmarket and New Street stay open later.

The Victorian fayre will run until Sunday at 5pm.