‘It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ - Ripon’s Christmas Light Switch On brings out the city’s ‘fantastic community spirit’

Ripon’s Christmas Light Switch On, on Saturday, November 18, will bring residents and visitors together on the Market Square to enjoy the free entertainment and festivities courtesy of Ripon Council.
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The Christmas Light Switch On is a free event for all, and includes live entertainment, Santa's Grotto and reindeer, fairground rides, and a heavy dose of community spirit.

The fun gets underway at 1pm, with Santa and his reindeer expected to be on site from 1pm-4.30pm.

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Fairground rides will run from 1-6pm, while live entertainment is on offer from 3-6pm.

Christmas in Ripon by photographer Mike Smith.Christmas in Ripon by photographer Mike Smith.
Christmas in Ripon by photographer Mike Smith.

The crowning glory of the event, the Christmas lights switch on, will take place at 5pm.

To bring on the festive mood, the Ripon Gazette asked Ripon-ians on the popular facebook page ‘Blow your Horn’ what they loved most about Christmas in the city.

One comment highlighted Ripon’s friendly close knit community, and said:

“Just a fantastic community spirit as always.

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“Ripon people are so good with donations to charity, Salvation Army, especially at Christmas.

Another said: “People being kind to one another, our shops being busy.”

Comments also praised collaborative efforts and the generosity of the people, all helping to build up the festive air, they said:

“It was nice to see decorations appearing in shop windows, cafes and pubs, the atmosphere is building! It’s beginning to look like you know what!!

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“I was in the new Ripon Inn yesterday. The Christmas decorations are spectacular, a real treat for all to see.”

Spa Gardens Winter Wonder, PortFino, Midnight Mass, Carol singers, and the Salvation Army were popular choices, whilst many were quick to highlight the wonderful efforts of independent trade.

“The window displays, I saw some lovely ones today whilst shopping, the Salvation Army shop looks fabulous.

“The Midnight Mass at the Cathedral is my highlight of the year - as well as the Advent procession at the cathedral.:

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During the cost of living crisis Ripon City community and its traders have been keen to provide free events giving everyone a chance to be a part of annual celebrations.

One comment said:”I love the entertainment on the square. It's fabulous.

“Nothing I love more than a good dance and to get this for free especially with things the way they are at the moment is amazing.

“People might not be able to afford to go to events right now so to have them on your doorstep with no change is wonderful.

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Whilst comments continued to praise for the city's many drinking spots, which come to life in the run up to Christmas.

One said: “Christmas eve in Ripon is always a highlight for me.

“Also, on Mad Friday the pubs are alive and get very busy, a brilliant night.”

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Finally, people who recently moved to neighbouring towns boasted about a city full of festive spirit, they said:

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“Having moved to Boroughbridge two days before last Christmas, we decided to go to the cathedral on Christmas eve for the live nativity.

“It was great to see so many people there and youngsters galore dressed up in so many different costumes.

“It was the beginning of our 1st Yorkshire Christmas, brilliant, enjoy whatever you do.”

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