This year's Christmas celebrations in Mansfield will begin on Sunday 26 November, marking the return of the council’s Big Switch On event.
Attracting thousands of spectators yearly, The Big Switch On will again feature a variety of star-studded music acts, children’s entertainment, tasty food stalls, roaming musical bands and Santa himself in Mansfield’s Market Place.
Mansfield BID will be managing the family fun on Westgate including a variety of rides, food stalls, face painting, hot drinks including hot chocolates and mulled wine, music from the Moonshiners and festive craft activities. This will begin at 12noon ahead of the main stage show at 3pm.
There will also be a host of festive activities in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, alongside meet and greets with Santa in his grotto.
The fantastic free stage show will be hosted by Mansfield 103.2’s Ian Watkins and John B Tannen, kicking off at 3pm, alongside special guests, including Miss Margo and Jono Edwards.
A variety of singers will grace the stage with some festive classics to warm up the crowds, but be sure to bring your best singing voices along to join in with the crowd karaoke and DJ set that will follow before our headline act takes to the stage and the lights are turned on.
Executive Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on event in Mansfield is always a fantastic, free, community event with something for everyone, whatever age, to help get you into the Christmas spirit.
"Why not come along and enjoy the entertainment, competitions, and fantastic food choices throughout the day? It will also boost all our local shops and traders before we countdown to the big day.
“Stay tuned for the end of this month as we will be announcing our headline act and star-studded lineup. I’m sure we will All Rise to the occasion.”
A disabled viewing area for wheelchair users will be available at the front of the main stage. No booking is required for the space this year, but will be available on a first come, first served basis as space is very limited.
The event takes place alongside Mansfield Palace Theatre’s pantomime, which this year is Beauty and the Beast. More than 60 percent of show tickets have sold already. Secure yours at www.mansfieldpalacetheatre.co.uk (opens in new window).
Jay Rowlinson, Chief Executive of Mansfield BID, said: “We are so pleased to be working in partnership with the council and local businesses to bring another show-stopping event to Mansfield’s town centre.
“We will be building on the success of last year with our Jingle Mingle area on Westgate this year, helping to bring even more footfall into the town centre at a time when shopping local is more important now than ever.”
As well as the Moonshiners on Westgate performing live music on the day, the comedy string quartet Graffiti Classics will also be at the event, performing in different locations throughout the day.
The Big Switch On event is organised and funded by Mansfield District Council with support from Mansfield BID, Mansfield 103.2, Canvas and Four Seasons Shopping Centre. Sponsorship is also sought from the business community.
The event is just the beginning of a packed programme of festive entertainment with brand-new attractions to wow residents and visitors.
The safety of visitors is of the utmost importance, so expect to see security, community wardens and police presence throughout the day. The teams are on hand to offer friendly advice and information to keep visitors safe and will keep a close eye on crowds to help people if needed.
If you see something suspicious, trust your instincts and alert a security team member, who will be more than happy to investigate. There will be CCTV coverage and many other measures going on behind the scenes to help make visitors feel safe, too.
Businessman Jono Edwards said: “Both Miss Margo and I are thrilled to be asked back again this year for the Christmas Lights Switch On event as the atmosphere and attendance at last year’s event was amazing. We’re looking forward to getting the masses warmed up with more ‘crowd karaoke’ before the headlining live act.
“This year has been simply brilliant with events in Mansfield, we loved Party on the Market, too, and I’m personally honoured to be involved. It’s just brilliant to see a really strong community spirit back in our own centre.”
If your business would like to contribute towards the Christmas celebrations in Mansfield, a range of sponsorship packages is available - from £150 to £3,000. Please contact 01623 463376 or email email@example.com.
As well as the Christmas event celebrations, the council will also be relaunching its Secret Santa Appeal at the end of October, with exciting new collaborations in the pipeline, meaning Mansfield can reach more local people in need this year.
Members of the public can donate a range of gifts, including toys, board games, colouring books, hats and scarves, chocolates, biscuits, bath sets, male grooming sets, pyjamas and socks. The items must be new and unused for health and safety purposes.
The presents will be distributed through Mansfield Children’s Centre Service and FOOD Clubs to families and people in need before Christmas.