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Shrewsbury’s Christmas lights switch-on starts festive season

Music, dance and festive fun are lined up to make Shrewsbury’s Christmas Lights Switch-on a sparkling success on Wednesday 16th November.

The full programme for the Christmas Cracker event to launch the town’s festive season has been announced, with a bumper turnout expected to enjoy the celebrations.

Sponsors Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), Shrewsbury Town Council, Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Shopping Centres and Redrow Homes have gone to town to make it a memorable evening.

The festivities get underway from 4.30pm when Father Christmas arrives in his sleigh at Pride Hill. Music groups, soloists, choirs and dancers will entertain at various venues, while Jack the Jester will bring his brand of fun to High Street (5.45-6.15pm and 6.45-7.15pm).

The voices of Rock Choir will sing out in The Square from 5.45pm until 6.15pm when the traditional lantern parade sets off from Darwin Shopping Centre to make its way to The Square for the official lights countdown. The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Ioan Jones, will choose the winner of the best lantern to join him to switch on the lights at 6.30pm.

The celebrations continue when Cannock Pipe strike up the music in The Square from 6.45-7.15pm.

Music in a more reflective atmosphere will be provided by Stiperstones Band in St Mary’s Church (6-6.30pm) and St Chad’s Choir at St Alkmund’s Church (6.30-7pm).

Darwin Centre has invited the band Bluzone (5.15-6.15pm) and the choir Of One Accord (6.30-7pm) to entertain shoppers. Pride Hill Centre hosts ladies choir Halfway House from 5.30-6pm followed by Roam Dance School at 6-6.30pm.

The Market Hall welcomes acoustic duo Redkix (5.30-6pm) and singer Sonya Smith with her acoustic guitar from 6.30-7pm. Sonya will also perform at Stop Café (5.30-6pm) followed by acoustic four-piece Almost Bluegrass at 6.30-7pm.

Shoppers will be able to buy gifts and Christmas treats with the town’s shopping centres and businesses open until 8pm and the Market Hall open until 9pm.

Shrewsbury BID Executive Director Kirsten Henly said: “The Lights Switch-on is a big event in the calendar, bringing people together to see the festive lights at the start of the Christmas season. We’re expecting a great atmosphere and bumper crowds. We’d like to thank everyone who is getting behind the event to make it a special one.”

To encourage festive shoppers, there will be free parking after 4pm on every Wednesday up until Christmas at Abbey Foregate, Frankwell Main and St Julian’s Friars.

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