When the Christmas market in the Zottegemse city center used to be organized in the form of two or three Christmas market Sundays and also took place in Heldenlaan, there was criticism – both from visitors and in the city council from the then opposition, who now have a say in city policy – that the Christmas market “basically one street long bar with a potpourri of all kinds of music” used to be. After 34 editions, those traditional Christmas market Sundays came to an end in 2019. A new concept was devised and since then the Christmas market has continued on the covered market square, but it can still be heard that this end of year event has little in the way of a real Christmas market and more”a large open-air cafe in a winter atmosphere”. Anyone who is of this opinion will have grist to his or her mill because it can be expected that this time the real Christmas market atmosphere will certainly be completely far away a few times and will make way for King Football following the upcoming football world championship for national teams in Qatar.
After all, permanent exhibitors at the Christmas market are allowed to set up (big) screens for the broadcast of the Red Devils matches and to open their chalet on Wednesday 23 November from 6 to 11 p.m. (at 8 p.m. Belgium – Canada), on Sunday 27 November from 1 pm to 9 pm (at 2 pm Belgium – Morocco) and on Thursday 1 December from 3 pm to 9 pm (at 4 pm Croatia – Belgium). This will also be allowed if the Belgian national team advances to the eighth finals after these group stage matches and in any further matches of the Red Devils in the World Cup tournament. When these competitions take place on a day when the Christmas market is actually closed, permanent stallholders are allowed to operate their chalet from 3 to 9 pm (in case of kick-off at 4 pm) or from 6 pm to 11 pm (in case of kick-off at 8 pm) .
The following opening days and hours are planned for the actual Christmas market – from Friday 2 to Friday 30 December: every Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m., on Friday from 4 to 1:30 a.m., on Saturday from 2 to 1:30 a.m. and on Sunday from 2 p.m. am to midnight (ie closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well as on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 December).