HUNDREDS of market stalls returned to the region bringing food, crafts and activities.

Last summer, a Market Spectacular attracted thousands of people to Darlington, for food, shopping and entertainment.

But this year’s market offers an even greater selection, from German sausages and traditional English jam to Mediterranean meze and Chinese noodles.

Sue Cochrane, 47, from Middlesbrough, said: “There’s a great range of stalls, especially European ones.”

For the stall-owners it was a chance to introduce their products to new customers.

Aldo Mo, 29, from Istanbul, Turkey, said: “The market has been great, very busy, and lots of people have been buying my lovely olives.”

But there was more than just food. The town centre was transformed into a carnival atmosphere, with entertainers and music.

Rob Clayton, 47, from Wetherby, North Yorkshire, said: “There’s a great atmosphere, with lots of people around. Darlington is clearly a great centre.”

Allan Draper, presidentelect of the National Market Traders Federation and chairman of its Darlington branch, said: “Darlington is definitely putting the ‘M’ back in market town.”

Darlington Market Spectacular continues until Sunday.