CBeebies stars, singers who triumphed in Britain’s Got Talent and an X-Factor winner are among the famous faces set to entertain at Sheffield’s Christmas lights switch-on this weekend.
A full programme of entertainment will begin from 2pm on Sunday, November 23, before the big switch itself is flicked at 5.30pm in the Peace Gardens.
On the Heart Stage in the Peace Gardens, X Factor winner Sam Bailey will perform, as will last year’s Britain’s Got Talent champions Callabro.
Also entertaining the crowds will be musicians, choirs and pantomime performers starring in this year’s production of “Dick Whittington” at the Lyceum Theatre, including Eastenders’ Samantha Womack.
Characters from films including “Frozen” will be meeting children in the Peace Gardens and Town Hall Square, while children’s favourites from CBeebies will lead a storytelling session in the Winter Garden.
Other family-friendly attractions will include an elf trail, a fairy grotto, carol singing, craft activities, meet-and-greets with film and television characters, a miniature skating rink in the Peace Gardens, fairground rides and the chance to take a ride in vehicles from the National Emergency Museum.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to offer a full programme of entertainment for this year’s Christmas lights switch-on.
“It will particularly appeal to families, with entertainment ranging from children’s television favourites through to pop stars and traditional carol singers.
“I’m sure it will encourage people to visit the city centre on Sunday to experience the switch-on and also to do some Christmas shopping, perhaps pick up an unusual gift at the markets, experience the temporary skating rink and last – but not least – enjoy some festive food and drink.”
For those wanting to buy fresh produce and original gifts, the Moor Market will be open on Sunday, 23 November between 10.30am and 4.30pm.
Meanwhile, attractions at The Moor’s Christmas Party, running from 12noon to 6pm that day, will include guaranteed snow from a snow machine, giant snowmen and the switch-on of The Moor’s own Christmas tree at 3pm.
Santa and Rudolph will also be there, alongside a live nativity including real reindeer.
Sandra Barley, Centre Liaison Manager for The Moor, said: “This year events on The Moor have become even more popular.
“Shoppers and visitors are enjoying The Moor becoming a busier part of the city centre as more shops join us – including the recently opened premier toy shop The Entertainer – providing the perfect place for Christmas shopping.”.
This year’s Christmas market is also now open, housed in wooden cabins in the Peace Gardens and Fargate.
As well as independent traders selling a variety of gifts, jewellery, crafts and fresh produce, there are also refreshment stalls selling hot food and drinks, and two bars stocked with festive favourites such as mulled wine.
The Christmas market runs from 10am to 6pm daily throughout November and, in December, it will be open until 8pm each Wednesday.
On Sunday, 23 November, activities in the Peace Gardens will finish at 6.30pm.