TIMETABLE REVEALED: Festive celebrations begin with lights switch on in Peterborough

Switching on the the Christmas Lights in city centre 2015. EMN-151115-112948009
Switching on the the Christmas Lights in city centre 2015. EMN-151115-112948009
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Festive celebrations in Peterborough will begin on Saturday with the Christmas lights switch on - and end with a spectacular firework display on New Year’s Eve.

The New Year celebrations will be the first organised in the city centre since 2011, and the display will mark the start of Peterborough Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations.

Christmas lights switch on at Queensgate.  Heart FM with Cresset Panto stars switch on the lights with Father Xmas EMN-150711-004411009

Christmas lights switch on at Queensgate. Heart FM with Cresset Panto stars switch on the lights with Father Xmas EMN-150711-004411009

At the same time as the fireworks explode to celebrate the start of 2018, Peterborough Cathedral’s bells will ring out.

In recent years in Cathedral Square, revellers have set their own fireworks off to mark the end of one year and the beginning of another.

The Christmas celebrations will start in Peterborough tomorrow (Thursday) when lights are switched on at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre in Hampton.

The festivities start at 4pm at the centre, with the lights being illuminated for the first time at 6pm.

Switching on the the Christmas Lights in city centre 2015.  Santas promoting the forthcoming Santa Run in city EMN-151115-112200009

Switching on the the Christmas Lights in city centre 2015. Santas promoting the forthcoming Santa Run in city EMN-151115-112200009

The main event in Peterborough will be on Saturday, when the city centre decorations are lit up for the first time this year.

This year is the third year the controversial artificial tree will be on display. The tree cost the council £40,000, and is set to last for five years. A Peterborough City Council spokesman said before buying the tree, the cost to hire the decorations in the city was £80,000 per year.

Celebrations will start at 1pm, with entertainment, music and other performances on a stage in the square running all afternoon.

Throughout the day a Christmas Fair will be running in the Town Hall, with gift and craft stalls, a tombola and raffle and festive refreshments. All profits will go to the Mayor’s Charities.

The Cathedral Square lights will be turned on at 5pm by Mayor of Peterborough cllr John Fox, Santa Claus and leader of the council Cllr John Holdich pressing the big red button- but that won’t be the end of the activities, as the celebrations will then switch to the Queensgate Shopping Centre, who are promising a pantomime themed extravaganza, before the switch on at 6pm.

Residents attending the Queensgate switch on will also be able to enter a competition to win a family day trip to Lapland in December.

There are more Christmas events taking place throughout November and December in the city, including the Santa Stroll in Hampton on December 17, The Coca Cola Lorry visiting Serpentine Green on December 2, and the Christmas Market, which will be in Peterborough city centre from December 8 until December 23.

A Christmas market will also be held at Peterborough Cathedral on December 2, while there will also be a number of festive services throughout the Christmas period.