THE town centres of Sutton and Kirkby are set to be filled with fun and festive cheer as this year’s Christmas lights are switched on.
The celebrations begin in Sutton on Friday with a two-day event organised by members of the Sutton Town Centre Group.
Paralympic gold medallist Ollie Hynd, who is from Kirkby, will be the guest of honour and he will officially switch on the lights on Saturday at 4pm.
Liz Barrett, from the Sutton Town Centre Group, said: “This Sutton Town Centre Group two day event is expected to be a large scale festive experience for people.
“We have worked hard to try and offer a wide range of activities and events which are either free or affordable.
“Santa will be visiting us and will be on Portland Square where children will be able to visit him and tell him what they would like for Christmas.”
Meanwhile, the volunteer-led Kirkby Christmas Festival will be held a week later on 7th December.
This year’s event, which takes place between 5pm and 8pm, will feature plenty of family activities including a fun fair, street entertainers, stage shows, stalls and food - as well as a town crier to let people know what’s going on.
At 5.30pm, youngsters will be treated to a special visit from Santa Claus, who will walk down a lantern-lined pedestrian area.
The Christmas tree lights will be turned on at 5.45pm.
The town’s Festival Hall will be filled with craft and activity stalls and there will be a chance to see Santa in his Grotto.
There will also be entertainment from choirs and musicians on an outdoor stage in the precinct.
Some of the town’s shops and market stalls will be open on the night with hot food and goodies available, while characters dressed in Dickensian costume will welcome visitors to the library with lots of stories to tell.
The grand finale will include a Nativity by more than 100 children from schools in Kirkby which takes place on the outdoor stage at 7pm.
The show will be an up-to-date dramatic version of the Christmas story with music from school choirs and a grand combined choir singing the final song.
There will also be a host of competitions for residents and traders in the run-up to the event, including a Best Christmas Window competition beginning on Saturday, with entry forms available at the library.
In addition, two VIP passes giving the winners free rides throughout the evening will be up for grabs.
To enter write ‘Kirkby Christmas Festival VIP Kiddie Pass’ on a piece of paper with the child’s name on it and put it in the box in the Ashwood Centre or post it to Funfair VIP Pass, Ashwood Centre, Portland Street, Kirkby. The draw will be made on festival day at 4pm and the winner’s name will be on a poster near the outdoor stage at 5pm.