Friday 4 November 2016

Music, lights and festive sparkle are set to take over Sheffield city centre on Sunday 20 November for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

A full programme of entertainment will begin from 2pm, before the big switch itself is flicked at 5.30pm in the Peace Gardens by a soon-to-be-revealed famous face.

Musicians, choirs, street entertainers, children’s characters and pantomime performers starring in this year’s production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” at the Lyceum Theatre will be entertaining crowds around the city centre throughout the afternoon.

Christmas crafts will be taking place in the Winter Garden and children will also be able to follow an elf trail, before meeting Father Christmas in his Grotto on Fargate.

Families can also take a ride on a fire engine and play on the National Emergency Services Museum’s display of emergency vehicles as the museum goes “on tour” for the day.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “Christmas is a special time of year and we have plenty of festive cheer on offer for people of all ages. Last year thousands came out to enjoy Sheffield’s celebrations and I hope that families will come along again to enjoy this year’s Christmas light switch on.

“But, people won’t have to wait for the big switch to get in to the Christmas spirit, the Christmas market opens a week earlier, with a huge choice of seasonal goodies and unusual gifts on offer. And, once the shopping’s done the Sleigh Bar on Fargate and brand new Thor’s Tipi in the Peace Gardens will give a warm and cosy welcome to all our city centre visitors.”

This year’s Christmas market will open on Wednesday 16 November, housed in traditional wooden cabins along Fargate.

As well as independent traders from across the UK and Europe selling a variety of gifts, jewellery, crafts and fresh produce, there will be refreshment stalls selling hot food and drinks, including the annual Sleigh Bar.

The market runs from 10am to 6pm daily throughout November. In December, the market will also be open until 8pm each Wednesday.

For the first time in Sheffield, THOR’s Viking Tipi Bar is taking up home in the Peace Gardens for the festive period. Arriving on Thursday 24 November, THOR’S Tipi Bar, which plays on Yorkshire’s Viking heritage will be festooned with lighting and decked out with wooden tables and benches, cosy furs and a fire pit, plus an outdoor heated area. Serving local draft ales, mulled wine and hot cider, plus a hot chocolate station where kids, big and small, can choose a topping for their homemade chocolate treat and a tempting winter barbeque.

Those visiting the city centre on the three Saturdays before Christmas can take advantage of the festive free parking offer. From 2pm on Saturday 10, 17 and 24 December people can park for free in all Sheffield City Council on and off street parking spaces in the city centre and in the permit parking zones.

The introduction of Sheffield BID’s Alive After Five scheme launched last week allowing shoppers to beat the rush, with many city centre shops now open until 6pm throughout the week and 7pm on Thursdays.

People can keep up to date with all things Christmas in Sheffield through the Sheffield Events www.facebook.com/SheffEvents and Sheffield City Centre www.facebook.com/sheffieldcitycentre Facebook pages, watch this space!