TAMWORTH’S festive season officially begins when the town will be lit up with the Christmas lights switch-on event this Sunday (November 25).
The countdown to Christmas will be launched in style with a jam-packed afternoon of festive fun for the whole family in Tamworth town centre, ahead of the main event in St Editha’s Square at 5pm, when the town will sparkle in Christmas cheer.
The annual Christmas Lights Festival starts at 1pm and promises another jam-packed afternoon of festive fun for the whole family. Activities include fairground rides, live music and dance performances, walkabout characters,a Christmas themed stilt walker, a balloon modeller, face painters, Christmas market and a nativity under the Town Hall.
Entertainment will centre around the Touch FM stage in St Editha’s Square with a variety of live performances from 2pm.
The festival, sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre, will also have a special guest in the form of Peter Rabbit™, who will be making appearances at intervals throughout the day at Ankerside and during the main event at 5pm when the lights are switched on
Also returning is the annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Editha’s Church, which invites schools, businesses, local groups and individuals to decorate a tree to be displayed in the church. More information on how to join this festival is available here: www.tamworth.gov.uk/Christmas-tree-festival
Youngsters are invited to collect their pre-made Christmas lanterns from unit 56 by Pandora in Ankerside Shopping Centre, between 3pm – 4.20pm. The lanterns, created at workshops during half-term, will be fitted with glow sticks and mounted on six-foot canes and then taken to the Castle Grounds Bandstand for the start of the parade at 4.30pm.
The main event will be at 5pm when the honour of switching on the lights will be given to the winner of a special Girlguiding Bake-Off competition – Sophie Downing, accompanied by the Mayor of Tamworth; not forgetting Father Christmas and special guest Peter Rabbit™.
The annual Christmas lights switch-on is organised with the Tamworth Christmas Lights Festival Committee and sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre. It is another favourite in the Tamworth Arts & Events calendar which attracts thousands of people, who flock to the town to enjoy the celebrations each year.
Line up for the Main Stage:
- St Leonards Primary School – 2pm – 2.15pm
- Upbeat Dance Studio – 2.15pm – 2.30pm
- Landau Forte Sixth Form Dance Performance – 2.30pm – 2.45pm
- ALI Gilbert Feat Teresa Meads – 2.45pm – 2.50pm
- Stage It Academy – 2.50pm – 3.05pm
- Tamworth Voices – 3.05pm – 3.30pm
- Just Perform – 3.30pm – 3.50pm
- Tamworth Panto – 3.55pm – 4.20pm
- My Favourite Things – 4.20pm – 4.50pm
- Santa, The Bake-Off winner, Peter Rabbit and Pyros -4.50pm – 5pm
- Lights Switch On – 5pm
Additional entertainment under the Town Hall will be performed by members of St Francis Church who will stage a live nativity at 2.30pm, 3pm and 3.30pm.
The Christmas market will return and be enchanted with Christmas cheer offering festive sounds from Tamworth Wind Band at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, outside Home Bargains.
A range of festive stalls will include:
- Jeffrey’s Fine Sandwiches
- Dobson’s Deli
- Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
- Dun Roamin Rehoming
- Girlguiding Tamworth
- St Giles
- Tamworth Samaritans
- The Sweet Station
- Tame Community First Responder Group
- Waterfront Food Bar
- Star Thai Food
- Hot drinks and cold refreshments
- A variety of tombola stalls
- Sweet cones, chocolate, fudge, candy floss, donuts and brandy snaps
…and much more – all perfect for picking up some unique and personal Christmas presents.
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Operational Services & Culture, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on event is another highlight in Tamworth’s free programme of arts and events which is run in partnership with Tamworth Christmas Lights Festival Committee and sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre. We have a fun packed day lined up, with plenty of stalls, refreshments and free entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. What else would be the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season?”
Mark Burbridge, centre manager at Ankerside Shopping Centre, said: “The excitement is certainly building up for all the fantastic festivities in Tamworth this weekend. It’s set to be a brilliant event, with many activities and entertainment to get families into the Christmas spirit. We look forward to celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with the community.”