Tamworth’s festive season to get underway this Sunday

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Tamworth’s festive season officially gets underway this weekend with a jam-packed programme of yuletide celebrations and the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

The countdown to Christmas will begin on Sunday November 20, with an afternoon of fun for the whole family in Tamworth town centre, designed to launch the festive season in style.

Festivities take place from 1pm including live music, fairground rides, a festive market, treasure hunt, a live nativity in George Street near the Town Hall by members of St Francis Church at 2.30pm, walkabout characters, dance performances, face painting and personal appearances at intervals from Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall in Ankerside Shopping Centre.

Members of Tamworth Sixth Form Dance Company will be performing a special piece under the Town Hall in Market Street from 2pm. The production has been inspired by the Town Hall itself and will explore its pillars and arches, its original construction and the building’s purpose throughout the years.

The Christmas market will be back this year, lining George Street from 1pm with a range of stalls selling gifts, crafts, novelties, local produce and festive food – perfect for picking up some unique and personal Christmas presents.

Contemporary brass band Liquid Brass will be helping shoppers get into the spirit of Christmas, playing festive music in George Street between 2pm and 5pm.

Also returning is the annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Editha’s Church, which will be open to the public from Friday November 18 to Friday November 25, including throughout the switch-on event, when people will be able to admire dozens of trees decorated by schools, businesses, local groups and individuals.

Visitors to the festival will be asked to vote for their favourite design. A space in the church costs £10 per tree. For more information, email steditha’s@btconnect.com.

Music will centre round the Touch FM stage in St Editha’s Square, featuring live performances from a range of acts. Here is the full line up:

•    2pm        Matilda Pratt
•    2.15pm    Just Perform
•    2.40pm     Glenn Chevannes & Dancers
•    3.05pm     Upbeat Dance Company
•    3.30pm    Tamworth Voices
•    3.55pm    Tamworth Panto Company
•    4.20pm    The Glamophones

Santa will arrive on stage at 4.50pm alongside the Paw Patrol characters and the Mayor of Tamworth ready for the big moment when the town will be bathed in festive cheer. This year the honour of throwing the switch has been given to the winner of a special Cub Cake and Brownie Bake Off competition which took place as part of this year’s Tamworth in Bloom competition.

Young baker Grace Jay, aged 10, of the Polesworth (Abbey) Cub pack, saw off the challenge from nine other young bakers to take the title for her Jamboree-themed ‘showstopper’ cake. Judges included Natasha Stringer from series three of the Great British Bake Off.

Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team in partnership with the Tamworth Christmas Lights Festival Committee, the Christmas Lights switch on is another favourite in the town’s calendar of free outdoor events, attracting thousands of people who join in the festivities each year.

Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Ken Norchi, said: “This is the perfect way to start the Christmas festivities in Tamworth. Another great afternoon of fun and entertainment has been lined up and I hope to see lots of people soaking up the festive atmosphere.”

Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: “The Christmas lights switch on event is another highlight in Tamworth’s free programme of arts and events and a lot of work is involved in pulling it all together. Another fantastic programme of entertainment has been organised and it promises to be a great day.”