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Local heroes will take centre stage when the Christmas Lights in Stafford are turned on next month.
Live music, fireworks and a Christmas disco are all on a packed agenda for the big switch on show on Saturday 16 November.
The event is a collaboration between Freedom Leisure, Stafford Borough Council and the Guildhall Shopping Centre and attracts around 10,000 people into the heart of the county town each year.
The day is seen as the traditional countdown to the big day with unsung heroes invited to light up the Stafford sky along with Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Gareth Jones and, of course, Father Christmas.
Throughout the day fairground rides line the town centre streets with the popular Makers Market also taking place. The afternoon gets underway from around 2pm with street theatre and a Christmas disco before the day becomes a tribute to the 90s with a live musical show from the nine-piece ‘Dance Party Project’ band in the Market Square.
The lights will be turned on at 5pm, triggering the launch of thousands of fireworks from the top of the Guildhall Shopping Centre, before the band come back on stage to do another 45-minute set.
Stafford has become well-known for inviting local heroes to perform the switch on honour over the last decade – including Rio Olympic gold medal winning canoeist Joe Clarke in 2016, the late Don Gray, survivor of the treacherous World War ll ‘Arctic Convoys’ in 2014, and members of the armed forces based in the town.
Organisers are remaining tight-lipped about the names of this year’s nominations but have said that all are extremely deserving people who give up their time to help improve the Stafford community.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the council, said: “This is always a fantastic day for the thousands of people that come into our town and celebrate the Christmas Lights being turned on in a real party atmosphere.
“The joy on the faces of youngsters and their families make it a truly magical time to be in our county town and one not to miss.”
She added: “Each year we have genuine heroes from our own community to do the honours and this year will be no exception.”
Ivan Horsfall Turner, Managing Director Freedom Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Stafford Christmas Light switch on. The perfect day for local people to get together with friends and family and make a start on their festive celebrations. We hope to welcome even more people to the event this year.”
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