POLL - Are our Christmas lights the best yet?

Chalets selling Christmas gifts, mulled win and chesnuts will feature at the town's first ever Christmas market.
Chalets selling Christmas gifts, mulled win and chesnuts will feature at the town's first ever Christmas market.
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Hundreds of people are expected to watch Harrogate’s Christmas light switch-on at 6pm tonight (Thursday) outside the Victoria Shopping Centre.

The celebrations will also mark the opening of the town’s first-ever Christmas market, on St Mary’s Walk.

The switch-on event will be hosted by Stray FM, accompanied by the sound of choral singers and bell ringers.

Festivities begin at 4pm with St Peters school, before performances from St Aidan’s brass band, For Cuba, Jake & Elwood and Purple Mafia.

The fully-booked market features 131 traders and a children’s funfair, as well as visits from Santa, his reindeer and other live animals from Friday.

The market, which runs until Sunday, includes decorated chalets, mini-marquees, market stalls and a craft marquee.

Mulled wine, chestnuts, Christmas gifts including jams, books, clothing and cheese will be on sale.

Organiser Brian Dunsby of Harrogate Chamber’s trading company, Yorkshire Business Market Ltd, said: “This market is planned as a high-quality, upmarket event with a Yorkshire and Harrogate theme, attracting more people to Harrogate to see the Christmas lights.”

A shuttlebus service will run between the market and town centre.

Entertainment will run through the weekend, with St Aidan’s, Tweak and Dukes of Bevington at the market from 4.15pm on Friday, and Tewit Well junior band, Castle Hill brass quintet and Ont’ Sofa Night from 10am on Saturday.

Visit HarrogateChristmasMarket.org or HarrogateAtChristmas.org for information.

l See next week’s Advertiser for photos from the switch-on.