FATHER Christmas will literally be flying into Southampton city centre this winter.

A spectacular Flying Santa will soar through the sky in a UK first that will be the highlight of the city’s new festive German market.

The attraction will be the centrepiece of a new market in Above Bar boasting dozens of alpine chalets offering everything from German sausages and beer to traditional gifts.

The festive market, rebranded as the Southampton Christmas Festival, will kick off on November 14, and run until December 23.

Daily Echo: The WELA Markt Christmas market in Bristol.

As previously reported, German operators WELA Märkte were chosen to relaunch the Christmas market after council chiefs said they were unsatisfied with previous markets.

As well as the traditional chalets selling a host of festive goods, there will also be music.

While high wire artist Falko Traber, a world record holder in several high wire categories, will fly Santa’s sleigh 25m above the market twice a day during 15-minute shows.

Take a sneak preview below.

After the first show youngsters can then go with him to a giant advent calender where they will receive presents.

The council’s communities and leisure boss, Satvir Kaur, said: “With so many new festivals in the city this year, Southampton has really become a place where something is always happening.

"And although we’re in the middle of summer, I cannot wait for Christmas to see this new festival in our city centre and watch Santa come to life.

“Southampton is the major shopping destination in the south and we’re confident that WELA will complement the city’s already attractive Christmas shopping offer, appealing to both local families and visitors from near and far.

“Having recently met the new organisers I know they are keen on working with local traders to provide a quality Christmas offer, so I would urge interested local traders to contact WELA.

“I’m hopeful that this will be the best Christmas ever for the city and a special thank you to Santa for taking a break from the North Pole to help make this happen.”

Andree Langendschidt, from WELA Märkte, which has run markets in Bristol for the past seven years, said: “We are very proud and pleased to arrange and manage the new Southampton Christmas Festival.

"We have successfully operated a popular Christmas Market in Bristol for the last seven years and we are looking at Southampton as our new challenge – this will be a festival that has not existed in this manner anywhere in the UK.

“All the chalets are being specially designed and are currently being built.

"The emphasis at this festival will be on arts and crafts and will be topped off by some delicious European cuisine, with the main focus being on German food and drink.”

Traders or entertainers interested in becoming part of the Christmas Festival should email info@german-christ mas-market.de.

Discussions are still ongoing with traders in the city about the future of the current weekly markets, which will end in October.