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By Tim Clarke Tuesday 06 November 2012 Updated: 07/11 17:33
THE COUNTDOWN to Christmas will begin in earnest next Thursday (November 15) when hundreds of people gather for the switching on of the city's Christmas lights.
The festivities will explode into life with Christmas carols, party games and live music on the High Street ahead of the Big Switch On with Worcester Mayor Coun Roger Berry and pupils from Stanley Road Primary School at 5.30pm.
The drum-beat of the colourful Samba Santas will then lead the crowds to CrownGate where children's favourite Peppa Pig and her little brother George will help turn on the shopping centre's Christmas lights just after 6pm.
Shoppers can expect some extra sparkle on Broad Street where tourism body VisitWorcester and CrownGate have teamed up to invest in hundreds of new lights with a festive red, green and gold design.
Lights will also decorate the market stalls in Angel Place this year.
Not-for-profit organisation Worcester BID has also funded new lights for The Cross, The Foregate and Foregate Street and for the trees in Broad Street as well as for member businesses in streets where cross-street displays are not possible.
Georgia Smith, head of VisitWorcester said: “The switching on of the Christmas lights across the city is a great time for young and old alike and we feel sure that everyone will want to turn out and see the lights and get their Christmas shopping off to a great start.”
Cheeky piggies Peppa Pig and George will be meeting shoppers in CrownGate from 2pm ahead of the switch-on while Free Radio Streetstars, along with Breakfast show presenters Hursty and Helen, will be in Friary Walk from 4.30pm, getting people in the party mood with lots of great games and competitions.
CrownGate centre manager, Erica Burlace, said: “Christmas is a truly magical time of year for all ages, and we’re sure that Peppa and George will be a huge draw, enabling us to get the festivities started with a smile."
The switch-on will also mark the start of late night shopping on Thursdays in the run up to Christmas.
Shoppers will again be able to park for free after 6pm on Thursdays in council car parks and buy two hours and get the rest of the day free on Sundays during December.
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