Join Saints and panto stars for Northampton’s Christmas Lights switch on… In the Park!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visitors can enjoy a day of live stage entertainment between 11am and 6pm, hosted by BBC Radio Northampton’s Bernie Keith, featuring children’s entertainers, music from The Nene Valley Community Band and The Starlight Sisters, plus a Deco Theatre Panto preview, performances from Kristina Rihanoff’s Bespoke Ballroom Dance & Drama Academy and Born to Perform, wrapped up with a festive finale from the Royal & Derngate Community Choir, led by renowned music director Gareth Fuller.
Panto Stars Ore Oduba, Wendi Peters and Bob Golding from the Royal & Derngate’s ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs’, along with Tyger Drew-Honey and Daisie-Belle from The Deco Theatre’s ‘Cinderella’, will be joined on stage by Santa, the Mayor of Northampton and Saints Rugby star Alex Waller, ahead of the switch on at 5pm, starting the countdown to the most magical time of the year.
Cllr Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town Council, said: “We are looking forward to kicking off the Christmas season at the annual light switch on event. The ongoing town centre regeneration works have presented us with an opportunity to do something a little different this year, with Becket’s Park providing the perfect atmosphere for a bumper family event.
“We would like to thank our kind sponsors Maintenance Services Electrical Ltd and Midshires Electrical & Lighting Ltd, who are supported by JMS Transformers Ltd and British Electrical Lamps Ltd, who are providing additional lighting for us on the day.
“Thousands of people are expected to attend and we hope this expanded offer will attract a new audience to the town centre.
“We are delighted to have Northampton Saints and so many other partners and famous faces involved with this event, which is set to be a fun-filled day for all the family.”
Northampton Saints' Alex Waller, said: “The annual switch-on event is always an important date in the calendar for the town, and having grown up in Northampton I am very proud to be involved this year.
“I’ll be bringing my whole family along with me, and I can’t wait to get the festive season up and running with everyone at Becket's Park.”
Boombastic Events’ Christmas Silent Disco and Christmas Karaoke will get visitors into the party spirit and everyone can have a go on the magical ice rink, funfair rides and stalls.
Festive films will play on a big screen and families can relax in The Wild Tribe’s Family Retreat area, where Santa’s elves will be on hand to help children with sustainable, Christmas themed crafting and colouring. The Northamptonshire Central Library team will also be there to sign up visitors to borrow story books and deliver Festive Rhyme Time and Christmas story sessions with the elves.
Stalls in the Christmas Cheer Marquee will feature seasonal produce and gifts, along with local businesses and community groups, including Buddies of Becket’s and the Children’s Air Ambulance.
Bars and food stalls will be selling plenty of festive food and drink, with town centre favourites V and B serving up warming Christmas tipples and the Northampton District Scouts hosting the fire pit, selling marshmallow skewers to raise funds for the organisation.
Of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a visit from Santa himself, who will arrive on his sleigh, raising money for the Rotary Club of Northampton Becket, before helping to light up the town at 5pm.
Visitors can also take part in the 12 Days of Christmas Festive Family Trail, by following a route map around the town centre to find symbols hidden in shops and businesses. Everyone taking part on the day will receive a ticket to enter a draw, with the winner joining special guests on stage to switch on the lights and receive a special prize.
Festive activities continue on Saturday, 16th December between 12 and 5pm, when shoppers can enjoy Christmas carols and musical performances at All Saints’ Church Piazza, on St Giles’ Square and in the Grosvenor Centre, alongside a variety of festive themed eco crafts and workshops for kids and adults alike at the Vulcan Works.
Families will also be able to meet Santa in his Grotto at the Grosvenor Shopping centre, between 10.30am - 4pm every Saturday and Sunday in December prior to Christmas Day, and on weekdays between 18th - 23rd December.
The Grotto can be found on the upper mall and is delivered by the Northampton Town Centre BID, with funding and support from Northampton Town Council.
For more information, visit Northampton Town Council’s website or follow their social media channels:
Facebook: @NorthamptonTC Instagram: @northampton_tc