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Countdown to Christmas

This year’s Christmas lights switch-on is set to draw in the crowds once again

This year’s Peterborough Christmas lights switch-on will be another fun-filled family occasion, followed up by a spectacular festive market. The much-anticipated launch of the Christmas season takes place on Friday, November 15 in Cathedral Square and features an array of exciting activities.

Crowds will also get to see Peterborough’s new 40-foot spruce Christmas tree, which will be colourfully lit up as part of the switch-on. It will be the first time since 2014 that the city has had a traditional Christmas tree in Cathedral Square.

Jack Allen, from the New Theatre in Peterborough, which is supporting the tree, says: “We are delighted to have helped get a real tree back into the heart of the city. The switch-on will be the first opportunity to see it all lit up, which will be a spectacular sight and sure to get everyone into the festive spirit!”

Hosted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Breakfast Show presenter Kev Lawrence and producer Andy Lake, the entertainment gets under way from 3pm and lasts until 8pm, with the lights being switched on at 7pm. As the event coincides with BBC Children In Need night, Pudsey Bear will also be making a special appearance.

Be entertained
An exciting lineup of local groups will get guests into the Christmas mood by performing an assortment of Christmas classics. There will be performances by multi-award winning Cambridge band 4th Labyrinth, Urban Dance Academy, Peterborough Cathedral Choir led by Tansy Castledine, Peterborough Voices led by Will Prideaux, Lucy’s Pop Choir, and panto stars from the Cresset, Key and New Theatres will put on a show too.

This year’s switch-on is being supported by Vodafone, whose Gigafast Broadband is bringing some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK straight to homes and businesses across Peterborough.

Father Christmas will kindly take time out from his busy festive preparations to switch on the lights along with city Mayor Councillor Gul Nawaz and Peterborough City Council Leader Councillor John Holdich. The switch-on will be followed by a burst of fireworks to light up the night sky.

Christmas Market
Meanwhile, a Christmas Market will be on the Cathedral Green the day of the lights switch-on and running right through until December 28. The market also opens on Bridge Street and Long Causeway on November 17 and Cathedral Square on November 26.

As part of the event, the Guildhall will be turned into a cool Ice Bar, while youngsters can enjoy a trip to Santa’s Grotto, carousel rides and other fun and games.

The market will be open daily from 10am until late and will include more than 100 food, drink and stalls selling festive food, drinks and goods from all over the world. Carol singing, reindeer and Santa runs are also planned. Updates will be published in due course. Visit www.peterboroughchristmasmarket.co.uk for more details.

Councillor Steve Allen, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for recreation, says: ‘This year’s event includes fantastic entertainment and festive sparkle for all the family which I hope will encourage lots of young people into the city centre. As well as enjoying the big switch-on, you can take the chance to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy the many restaurants that Peterborough has to offer.’

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