An eight-year-old boy is looking forward to a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience when he switches on Mansfield’s Christmas lights.
Jaidon Boucher will be the guest of honour at The Big Switch On stage show on Sunday, November 20, after his family donated £605 toward radio station Mansfield 103.2’s Kings Mill Hospital toy appeal, where toys are given out to sick children in hospital over the Christmas period.
Jason and Donna Boucher, Jaidon’s parents, from Church Warsop, placed the highest bid during the auction and became the winners of a VIP prize package which includes the chance to turn on the lights, VIP viewing for the family with his 13-year-old twin brothers Brandon and Bradley, and a prize pack.
Jaidon and Brandon both suffer from mild cerebral palsy so have first-hand experience of what it is like to be in and out of hospital.
Donna said: “Jaidon jumped at the chance to get up on stage to turn on the lights as he loves to be centre of attention so we knew it would make him so happy.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him and the whole family so we fought to win the auction.
“We also wanted to buy this experience as a way of giving something back to all the sick children in hospital who we have seen time and time again when the boys have had to be in there.
“We’ve seen children with terminal illnesses and families who are experiencing such heartache, so we wanted to help cheer them up by contributing to the Toy Appeal.”
Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the Boucher family to the event on Sunday, which is sure to be a fantastic day of festive entertainment for all the family.
“Their contribution towards the appeal will bring such happiness to those children who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in hospital over the Christmas period.”
What’s happening on Sunday, November 20
Food market opens on West Gate.
Delicious treats to sample or buy as gifts including bottled beers from Hops in a Bottle and roasted chestnuts.
11am, Noon, 1pm, 2pm
Santa’s big arrival show at The Buttercross, beside Mansfield library.
The free event for all ages welcomes Santa and his festive friends to Mansfield and his grotto at Four Seasons Shopping Centre.
Buzzy B Club Peter Pan finger puppets workshop
Children aged three to 11 are invited to stand out from the crowd and make a Peter Pan-themed finger puppet at this free workshop in the Four Seasons.
Visit the West Nottinghamshire College gazebo on Mansfield Market and take an Elfie selfie with Christmassy props
White Post Farm Nativity scene.
See Charlie the pony and friends in a Nativity scene on Stockwell Gate.
Tinker Bell’s magical fun trail.
Follow the clues around the town centre to find pictures of Tinker Bell hidden in shop windows – clue sheets are available from many shops or customer services in the Four Seasons.
Look out for the circus elves in Mansfield Market who will be stilt walking, balloon modelling and performing tricks, or have a go at the free circus skills worksop at the Market Place arena.
Noon to 3pm
Free festive face painting in Mansfield Market.
Christmas brass band performs in Market Place
The Red Hot Band.
Enjoy the sounds of The Red Hot Band as they play a selection of well-known songs in Market Place.
Children’s Christmas party.
Music, games and prizes in Mansfield Market.
Once the fun shows finish at the Buttercross, Santa will make his way to his grotto to mark its official opening, before welcoming children to see him.
Theatre school concert
Be prepared to be wowed with performances by Razzamataz Theatre School and Funky Studios, who will put on their own mini shows in Mansfield Market ahead of the main stage show.
The Big Switch On stage show.
Special guests and live music in the build-up to the switching on of the Christmas lights.
There will be early Christmas presents given out to some lucky audience members, while Paralympic athletes Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw will be appearing.
Younger members of the audience will be thrilled to see The Snowman making appearances along with a sing-a-long of Walking in the air.
Stars from the Palace Theatre’s Peter Pan pantomime will grace the stage to warm up the crowd just in time for the big man in red, Santa, to make an extra special stop, appearing live on stage, before Jaidon will press the button and set off a magical firework display and turn on the Christmas lights.