Thousands of people packed Mansfield Market Place for the annual Big Switch On event on Sunday (17 November).
Nottinghamshire-based Feel the Noize Slade Tribute Band got families into the party mood with Christmas classics, along with entertainment from local talent Remy Coulthard-Boardman and Vicky Jackson, Mansfield Community Choir and Mansfield Corps of Drums.
For the third year in a row, there was a spectacular laser show as giant balloons drifted across the crowd, providing a dazzling display.
Stars from the Palace Theatre’s pantomime, Cinderella, led a rendition of the popular children’s song Baby Shark. There was also a children’s dance competition on stage and Elsa treated the crowd to Let it Go.
The town centre’s impressive display of lights, including the decorated Christmas tree, which is sponsored by Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, were switched on just before 5pm. The skies were then lit up by an explosive firework display to music, sponsored by Mansfield Building Society.
Sunday also marked the opening of the BID’s I Love Mansfield Christmas Market, which offers a range of festive gifts and food, in chalets situated along West Gate every day until Sunday 22 December.
There was also a host of festive activities including crafts, a meet and greet with the panto stars and Santa’s Grotto in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, plus the BID’s Cinderella Christmas Trail in the town centre.
The Big Switch On was just the beginning of a packed programme of festive entertainment and events.
Mansfield Museum’s Christmas Market takes place from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 November from 10am to 4pm daily. There will be more than 40 stalls selling gifts, treats and homeware.
Mansfield District Council will also host weekend entertainment with brand new attractions during the three weekends leading up to Christmas.
These new events will include walk-around entertainment, toddler play, face painting and arts and crafts. There will also be a snow globe attraction, which allows people to take selfies set against a winter wonderland landscape on selected weekends. These events are supported by Vision West Nottinghamshire College.
All this takes place alongside Mansfield Palace Theatre’s pantomime, Cinderella, Christmas Artisan and Craft Markets, late night shopping, the Four Season’s Grotto and more.
Mariam Amos, Strategic Director, said: “The turnout at the Big Switch On was fantastic despite the dreary weather, which didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm or the atmosphere.
“It was really great to see so many families and I’d like to thank the people of Mansfield and beyond for supporting the event like they did our festivals throughout the summer.
“You can provide feedback, which will help us to plan future events, by completing the council’s online survey at www.mansfield.gov.uk/ChristmasFeedback to be in with a chance of winning a £30 shopping voucher.”
The switch-on event is organised and funded by the council with support from Mansfield 103.2 and Four Seasons Shopping Centre. Sponsorship is also be sought from the business community.
The month-long I love Mansfield Christmas market is organised by Mansfield BID with financial support from the council.