Eastenders star John Partridge will begin the countdown to Christmas in Northampton today.
Northampton’s big Christmas light switch on will take place tonight (Thursday) with a special appearance from John Partridge who played Christian Clarke in Eastenders until 2012.
The fun will start at 5.30pm in the Market Square with the lights going on at 6pm.
Heart FM will start the countdown and John, along with his pantomime pals from the Royal and Derngate and the Deco, will flick the seasonal switch to light up the streets of Northampton.
The cast of the Royal and Derngate’s Christmas Show, The Snow Queen, will also be on stage singing a song or two and getting the crowd into the Christmas spirit.
And the cast of the Deco Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast, which features former Coronation Street star Nick Cochrane, will also perform prior to the big-switch on.
The Guildhall will be illuminated with festive lights and there will be cross-street lighting twinkling along Bridge Street, Gold Street, the Drapery, St Giles Street and Derngate.
There will be five 40ft Christmas trees in Abington Square, St Giles Square, Market Square, North Gate bus station and outside All Saints.
Northampon Borough Council will also be installing 200 small trees on business premises across the town centre.
A traditional German market featuring 12 stalls will provide a focal point to the celebrations, as traders selling all sorts of German Christmas products line Abington Street, trading from 9.30am-7pm daily, between today until December 20.
There will be free parking from 3pm today (Thursday), and every Thursday until Christmas, in all borough Council car parks.
The ever-popular Frost Fair will also be taking over the Market Square again on Sunday December 6.
Cllr Brandon Eldred, Cabinet Member for Customers and Communities at Northampton Borough Council, said: “Christmas is the peak trading time for businesses and we have once again worked hard to make Northampton a great place to visit and spend time.
“We have added Thursday from 3pm to our already-extensive free parking offer, and that will be an added incentive to people coming to Northampton to shop, eat, and visit the German market or the theatres.”