Heading to Harrogate's Christmas lights switch-on? Here's everything you need to know
It kickstarts Christmas for many - Harrogate’s big festive lights switch-on takes place in the town centre today, Thursday, serving up its usual extravaganza of live music, entertainment and special guests.
Organised by the Harrogate at Christmas Group, the popular event has moved from its usual location outside Victoria Shopping to Oxford Street, where the stage will be pointing down towards Harrogate Theatre.
The best of local talent will be entertaining the crowds from 4pm, in the build-up to the official switch-on by Father Christmas and the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Stuart Martin, at 6pm.
The acts performing on Thursday will include Albert Stott, the Reincantation choir, and the Harrogate High Chamber Group - children will also be pleased to see characters from Disney’s Frozen on stage, and the celebrations will be rounded off with a showcase from Harrogate Theatre’s Snow White panto cast.
The chairman of Harrogate at Christmas, John Fox, said: “The big switch-on audience has grown every year, and we feature the best of local talent entertaining the crowds. It is the start of Christmas for the town centre businesses and residents who come to watch.
“There is always a great buzz around the event, with great audience support for the entertainers and especially when Father Christmas arrives to meet the children before he switches on the lights.
“Since the Harrogate at Christmas Group was created to raise money and organise the Christmas lights for Harrogate, the audience at the switch-on has grown from around 400 to 3,500 last year. Our new location will enable us to develop the event for years to come.”
As Harrogate’s Christmas celebrations get under way, a special sculpture to help residents and visitors get into the festive spirit has also been unveiled near Victoria Shopping Centre (pictured).
The talented artists behind the installation come from Harrogate College, and it was proudly unveiled by the Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Stuart Martin and April Martin, on Monday night.