Final preparations for Shrewsbury's Christmas lights switch-on tonight

Shrewsbury Town Council staff are putting the final touches to their preparations for the town’s Christmas Cracker event, which returns today.

Last year's Shrewsbury Christmas Lights switch on in 2021
Last year's Shrewsbury Christmas Lights switch on in 2021

The fun starts from 4.45pm in the Square with entertainment for all the family ahead of the all-important countdown to the lights switch-on at 6.25pm.

Members of local theatre group, KG Theatre, will open proceedings on the main stage and will be followed by panto dame, Brad Fitt, together with Samantha Dorrance and Jo Osmond from Theatre Severn’s Beauty and the Beast.

Porthywaen Silver Band and Shrewsbury Male Voice Choir will wrap up the entertainment with a range of Christmas songs and carols before the big countdown at 6.25pm.

A number of roads will be shut for the event, with the Square closed to traffic

Drivers must be aware that the Square will be closed to traffic between 6am and 11pm, while Wyle Cop (uphill), High Street, Princess Street will be closed between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.

The parking bays on High St, Mardol Head and Shoplatch are also to be suspended from 3pm to 8pm.

Switching on the lights this year will be the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Elisabeth Roberts. She added: “We’ve got a great programme to celebrate the launch of our Christmas lights, with free family entertainment, and the all-important start of late-night shopping in the run-up to Christmas.

“I would love to see as many people join me for what promises to be a fun-filled evening in Shrewsbury. Christmas in Shrewsbury is always magical, and we are looking forward to seeing the Christmas lights which helps to give the town centre that festive feeling.”

Santa and his sleigh will also be at the bottom of Pride Hill all evening, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury.

BBC Shropshire’s Jim Hawkins will also be on stage to welcome the performers and provide MC duties for the evening.

The event also marks the start of late-night shopping in the town. Shrewsbury’s Shopping Centres will be open until 9pm and the Market Hall will stay open until 8pm.

Shoppers who buy from one of the market’s retailers early on the night will also receive a voucher for a complimentary glass of mulled wine and homemade mince pie, served between 5pm and 6pm, while stocks last.

The evening will see the return of the Darwin Shopping Centre’s spectacular giant reindeer Shrewdolph, which will have its very own switch-on to coincide with the Square countdown at 6.30pm.

For those unable to get to the Square, the event will be live streamed with the link available on the Shrewsbury Town Council website: shrewsburytowncouncil.gov.uk.

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