Christmas is coming and the festive season in Tamworth officially gets underway with the lights switch on next weekend.
The countdown to the big day will be launched in style on Sunday, November 26, with an afternoon of festive fun for the whole family in Tamworth town centre, ahead of the main event in St Editha’s Square at 5pm, when the town will sparkle in Christmas cheer.
The lights will be switched on by Amanda Little, the winner of a special baking competition, who will be accompanied by Councillor John Chesworth, the Mayor of Tamworth, Father Christmas himself and The Gruffalo.
Festivities take place throughout the day from 1pm, including fairground rides, crafts, live music, a Christmas market, walk about characters, dance performances, lantern parade, face painting and personal appearances at intervals from The Gruffalo in Ankerside Shopping Centre.
Councillor Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment and culture, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on event is another highlight in Tamworth’s free programme of arts and events which is run in partnership with Tamworth Christmas Lights Festival Committee.
“This year the committee along with the Arts and Events team has organised another great programme of entertainment, including The Lantern Parade.
“Don’t miss out on this free activity during the day at the Activity Centre and join the parade at 4pm. It should be the perfect start to the Christmas season.”
Throughout November, Tamworth Borough Council’s play leader has been visiting Coton Green, Wilnecote, Florendine and St Leonards Primary Schools to deliver free lantern workshops to be used in the parade, which starts from the Castle Activity Centre and leads to St Editha’s Square.
Children can collect a free glow-stick from the Castle Activity Centre prior to the parade, to make their lanterns glow.
The workshop leader will also be at the Activity Centre on the day to provide additional lantern making workshops for the public. Everyone is welcome and the activity is free.
The parade will be completed with festive walk about characters for the children to meet, including a giant inflatable snowman, a large gingerbread man, stilt walkers and circus performers.
Music will centre round the Touch FM stage in St Editha’s Square, featuring live performances from a range of acts from 2pm, and members of St Francis Church will stage a live nativity under the Town Hall in Market Street.
The Christmas market will return to George Street offering festive sounds from Tamworth Wind Band and a range of stalls will be selling gifts, crafts, novelties, local produce, wood fired pizza and festive food.
Also returning is the annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Editha’s Church, which invites schools, businesses, local groups and individuals to decorate a tree to be displayed in the church.