PRESTON is set for the best Christmas celebrations ever with a celebrity lights switch-on and weeks of festivities.
That’s according to Mark Whittle, Business Improvement District’s (BID’s) marketing and events manager, who said Preston’s Christmas event line-up will be “bigger and better than ever before”.
This year’s celebrations will see singer and TV personality Alesha Dixon headlining the light switch-on, as well as five weeks of Christmas markets on the Flag Market.
Britain’s Got Talent judge and Strictly Come Dancing winner Alesha will flick the switch on November 14 as part of a day of family entertainment. For the first time, the switch-on event will be held on Fishergate.
The festive Lancashire markets will then run from November 19 to January 3 and will include an alpine bar, real ice rink and animated family attractions. And BID has invested £50,000 into the Christmas lighting scheme.
Mr Whittle said: “It’s going to be a very unique Christmas. Most towns have a light switch on but we have five weeks of markets to follow this year.
“We also try and make Christmas in the town bigger and better than the year before and I think we’ve achieved that this year because we’ve had really positive response from the public.
“We have a high street we can be proud of and this allows us to show it off.
“It’s definitely going to be the best one we’ve ever done because it’s all very different. Not only is it going to be a long Christmas but it’s going to be a special one.”
The switch-on event, which is funded by BID and organised in partnership with Rock FM, features a packed line-up from 5.30pm. Alesha was secured at no cost to BID and fellow organisers Rock FM.
The radio station’s content controller, Paul Webster, said: “The lights are going to look better than ever and we’re ready to put on a great show to start Christmas in this great city.”
Mr Whittle added: “The Christmas season is a happy time and we know families love our switch-on event which regularly attracts many thousands of people to our great city centre - I would like to thank Fishergate and St George’s shopping centres for supporting the switch-on.
“The Lancashire Market Christmas Festival will make our city centres a ‘must visit’ destination. The markets are beautifully themed and will be a real spectacle, proving our long-term festive offer.”
BID has co-ordinated a complimentary parking offer in association with the Fishergate Centre, St George’s Shopping Centre, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council, with more details set to be announced soon.