A festive Christmas market is a new and welcome attraction at the Tamworth Christmas lights switch-on, which this year is taking place on a Sunday.
Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Tamworth on Sunday November 23, when the town centre becomes a festive wonderland.
More than 20 festive stalls will be set up in St Editha’s Square and along George Street, selling a range of Christmas gifts and novelties, local produce and festive food. Tamworth Lions will also have a charity chocolate tombola and lollipop lucky stall.
Live music, dance performances, fairground rides, living Nativity, Christmas treasure hunt and a Dickensian street performer are just some of the attractions at this year’s Tamworth Christmas lights switch-on.
The fun will start at 11am, with dozens of events taking place throughout the town centre during the afternoon.
This year, there will be a stage in St Editha’s Square, sponsored by Touch FM. The stage will feature performances from X-Factor contestants The Joys, Rotary Search For a Star runner-up George Radcliffe, Urban Fusion Dance Company, Tamworth Pantomime Company, Two Gates Primary School choir and Tamworth Voices.
The Community Café will be running free arts and crafts activities, St Editha’s Church will be packed with more than 100 decorated Christmas trees and the ever-popular walkabout characters will be mingling with the crowds.
Worshippers from St Francis Church in Leyfields will be staging a live Nativity under the Town Hall, complete with a real donkey. Just down the road in Market Street, Fergus & Fogg Toy Emporium will have a snow machine and carol singers outside the shop.
Dozens of Santa’s will be taking part in the Rotary Club Santa Stroll, which starts in St Editha’s Square at 3.30pm and aims to raise as much money as possible for the Rotary Santa Charity. There will be walks for able-bodied people, dog walkers, pushchairs and wheelchair users and registration will be open from 2pm on the day.
The festive fun will build to a climax at 5pm, when the town’s Christmas light will be switched on by Unwrap Tamworth at Christmas art competition winner Bethany Khan, Father Christmas and Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Richard Kingstone. The choir from St Editha’s Church will then lead the crowd in a Christmas carol sing-along.
Last year’s Christmas lights switch-on attracted more than 8,000 visitors, and organisers are hoping that this year’s event will be even bigger and better with the addition of the Christmas market and new festivities.
Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Richard Kingstone, said, “The Christmas lights switch-on is one of the highlights of Tamworth’s year. The atmosphere is lovely and it really gets everyone in the mood for Christmas.
“This year will be even better, with the wonderful Christmas market adding to the festive feel, along with the decision to hold the celebrations on a Sunday. I’m really looking forward to this year’s big switch-on, and I hope thousands of Tamworth people will join me on the day.”