Grimsby town centre to be transformed into winter wonderland for Christmas lights switch-on
JINGLE all the way down to Grimsby tomorrow!
There is just one day to go until the town centre is transformed into a magical winter wonderland for the big Christmas light switch-on event, Go To Town This Christmas tomorrow.
Organised by the Grimsby Telegraph, the two-day event is guaranteed to spread festive cheer to all as they celebrate the annual illumination of the town centre and the launch of late-night shopping.
Santa's little helpers here at Telegraph Towers have been working tirelessly to organise this fabulously festive event, which is supported by a host of organisations, including North East Lincolnshire Council and Freshney Place.
And now it's up to you to come along and help to make it a huge success.
Editor of the Grimsby Telegraph Michelle Lalor said: "Tomorrow is going to be a night everyone in the town will remember for years to come.
"We hope it will get everyone into the festive spirit and start looking forward to Christmas.
"It is going to be a great evening, with lots to see and do, and we can't wait to see everyone wrapped up in their winter woollies sharing this very special day with us."
As reported, the event kicks off with the opening of a giant Christmas food market along Victoria Street from 3pm to 9pm tomorrow and from 9am to 5pm on Friday.
Here shoppers can pick up some of the finest produce from across the region, taste mouth-watering samples and take advantage of exclusive offers to help you prepare for your festive feasts.
Of course it wouldn't be Christmas shopping without picking up presents from the array of Freshney Place shops, a craft fair in St James' Square and street shops, and this year shoppers can take their time, with free parking throughout the event.
Freshney Place centre manager Amanda Austin can't wait to see the town packed with people.
She said: "We have always pushed Christmas, which has proved attractive to the public. It is great we have extended the festivities into the town centre.
"We are really excited about it, we cannot wait. We have not done anything like this before and there is so much going on it is impossible to say what my highlight will be."
Among the many highlights exciting the town, will be a visit from Santa on his reindeer-pulled sleigh with local hero Jake Storr riding alongside.
The 11-year-old from Holton-le-Clay has cerebral palsy and was chosen to turn on the Christmas lights by Telegraph readers after undergoing pioneering surgery to help him walk unaided.
Mum Tina cannot wait to see her son up there with Santa. She said: "He couldn't believe he had been chosen. We are so pleased for him. It has made him feel really special. We have a lot of family and friends and we will all be going to see him. It will get us in the Christmas mood."
A parade of Father Christmases will ho-ho-ho it from Grimsby Minster to The Riverhead tomorrow, followed by a herd of reindeer, which are sure to bring a smile to the faces of all they meet.
Street entertainers will perform throughout the day and goody bags will be handed out to children.
Carol singers, a brass band and schools' choirs are bound to spread the traditional Christmas spirit.
Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Mike Burton, is looking forward to being part of the celebrations.
He said: "I am a huge fan of Christmas and I shall be quite excited to watch all the children having a great time.
"I love to see their faces light-up when they see Santa Claus. It will be lovely to see them enjoying themselves, children are what Christmas is all about."
Grimsby In Bloom has organised the 35ft Christmas tree, which was delivered from Norway last week, and will be part of the procession through the town with a choir and Councillor Burton.
Chairman Elaine Atkinson said: "This is going to be so much bigger and better than any other year. It is going to be wonderful. It is great for the town."
The Reverend Andrew Dodd will bless the tree before the lights are switched on. He said: "This is an important part of the year and should be celebrated with friends and family. I am excited to be a part of it and can't wait to see the town light up."
Donations collected throug- hout the event will go to When You Wish Upon A Star, a Lincolnshire-based charity which makes the dreams of children with life-limiting illnesses come true.
A rundown of all the highlights
3pm: Food Market, Craft Market in Minster, Big Wheel and GSMG marquee open to public.
3pm - 7pm: Street entertainers to walk from the Minster to the Riverhead giving out goody bags to children.
5pm: Reindeer to arrive at the Bullring.
5pm: Lincs FM presenters Richard Lyon and Amy Nagy present.
5pm – 5.55pm: Santa’s Grotto opens in Freshney Place.
6pm: Procession from the Grimsby Minster with choir, the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Mike Burton, Reverend Andrew Dodd and Grimsby In Bloom volunteers to the Riverhead via Victoria Street.
6.10pm: Santa’s sleigh with his reindeer give local hero Jake Storr a ride from the Bullring to the Riverhead via Osbourne Street.
6.15pm: Lincs FM, panto stars and choir lead carols.
6.30pm: Santa and Jake Storr arrive at the Riverhead on their reindeer-pulled sleigh.
6.35pm: Countdown to the Christmas light switch on begins.
6.40pm: Performance by Jazz Steer.
6.45pm: Light switch on.
6.50pm: Two more songs by Jazz Steer.
7pm: Show closes.
7.15pm – 9pm: Santa’s grotto reopens in Freshney Place.
8pm: £500 cash giveaway at the Bullring.
8.15pm: Wave goodbye to Santa’s reindeer.
9am: Food Market, Craft market in Grimsby Minster, the Big Wheel and GSMG marquee open to public.
9am – 5pm: Feetfirst street entertainers will perform throughout the day.
12pm – 5pm: Street entertainers to perform from the Minster to the Riverhead and a roller skating Christmas pudding will give out goody bags to the children