SAVE THE DATE in your diary – Tamworth’s festive season officially gets underway in just one month’s time with a cracker of a Christmas lights switch-on event on Sunday, November 22.
The 2014 switch-on was hailed the biggest and best to date, with estimated crowds of more than 9,000 people flocking to the town centre for new-look festivities, which were held on a Sunday for the first time.
This year’s free extravaganza hopes to build on that success with another jam-packed day of festive fun for the whole family, ahead of the main event at 5pm when the lights will be switched on, bathing the town in Christmas cheer.
Festivities take place throughout the day from 1pm including live music, fairground rides, a festive market, treasure hunt, craft activities in Ankerside Shopping Centre led by Tamworth Community Café, a nativity under the Town Hall, the St Editha’s Church Christmas Tree Festival, walkabout characters, dance performances and face painting.
Entertainment will again centre around the Touch FM stage in St Editha’s Square, which will feature performances from a range of acts throughout the afternoon from 2pm, including Urban Fusion Dance Company, Fired Up Theatre, Take a Bow, Just Perform, Glen Chevannes and dancers, The Jays and Tamworth Voices.
Young visitors will also enjoy guest appearances from Peppa Pig at intervals throughout the afternoon in Ankerside Shopping Centre and the cheeky piggy will be at the lights switch on alongside Father Christmas.
Last year’s new addition of the Christmas market will return this year, lining George Street with stalls selling a range of Christmas gifts, crafts, novelties, local produce and festive food.
Any businesses or charities interested in booking a stall at the festive market are asked to contact Frances Bragger on 01827 54692, or email Frances.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilnecote St John’s Band will be adding to the atmosphere in George Street by performing traditional Christmas songs throughout the afternoon.
This year the honour of officially launching the festive season by switching on the lights will be given to the winner of the Mayor’s Christmas card competition. Primary school aged children were asked to submit their Christmas card design, ideally with a Tamworth theme, to Tamworth Tourist Information Centre in Corporation Street, or Marmion House in Lichfield Street, by close of business today (Friday, October 23).
A panel of judges will select the winning design which will then be used for the Mayor’s official Christmas card this year and the winner will also be invited to switch on the lights on November 22.
Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Maureen Gant, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is yet another popular event in Tamworth’s busy programme of free entertainment and it is now even bigger and better, thanks to the addition of the festive market and a range of activities taking place throughout the town centre.
“It has all the makings of a lovely afternoon out for the whole family and is a great way to start the countdown to Christmas. I look forward to seeing everyone there.”