Peterborough will be getting into the festive spirit from tomorrow, Thursday, as a number of Christmas lights switch-ons take place across the city.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and this year there is an added bonus as Queensgate Shopping Centre is bringing out two large reindeers to decorate the city centre on top of its usual decorations.
The reindeers were put up by the Queensgate bus station and the footbridge entrance to the shopping centre in the middle of last week but were then taken down again soon afterwards.
A spokesman for Queensgate said they went up early so concrete bases could be constructed for them, and that they will be back up before their ‘Festive Fiesta” this Saturday.
The lights will be switched on at the shopping centre at 10.30am, while there will be music and magic and “dancing bellboys, mischievous elves and nutcracker ballerinas” to entertain shoppers.
Every hour on the hour from 11am shoppers can take part in a family fun Christmas game show in which shoppers can win prizes, while Santa’s grotto will also return.
Queensgate centre director Mark Broadhead said: “This is the event of the year! We can’t wait to bring Christmas 2018 to life for the people of Peterborough.
“We have got such an exciting schedule planned. And there will be plenty of surprises too, so keep your eyes peeled for those as the festive season approaches.”
Before the Queensgate fiesta, Friday sees the big city centre lights switch-on in Cathedral Square which is taking place for the first time ever on a Friday.
Hosted by Heart FM presenters Kev and Ros, the entertainment gets under way from 4pm and lasts until 8pm.
Local bands will get visitors into the festive spirit by performing an array of Christmas classics before the big switch-on takes place at 7.30pm.
Father Christmas will be making an appearance along with Mayor of Peterborough Cllr Chris Ash and Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich for the pressing of the button, which will be followed by a burst of fireworks to light up the night sky.
Peterborough’s controversial £40,000 artificial Christmas tree is also set to return today for its fourth year.
The lifespan of the tree is expected to be at least five years.
Peterborough City Market is also hosting its first ever Christmas Fayre with a lights switch-on a week on Friday from noon to 6pm.
There will be crafts, food and drink and live music.
And to kick everything off will be Serpentine Green in Hampton which is having its lights switch-on tomorrow, Thursday November 15, from 4pm to 6pm.
Stars from Peterborough United and Peterborough Phantoms will be attending, and there will be competitions to win a variety of prizes.
There’s also a Christmas Lights Switch on in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity on Saturday November 17 at 63 Bifield, Orton Goldhay.
The fun kicks off at 4pm before the lights go on at 6pm followed by fireworks.
Santa will also be there in his Grotto from 4.45pm to 5.45pm.