Urmston has announced the dates for its annual Christmas lights switch-on events and, new for 2019, a magical lantern parade concluding at Eden Square.

With Christmas just around the corner, it is time to start the festive countdown, and what better way than with the switch-on of the seasonal lights on Queens Road and at Eden Square – two completely free local events.

Getting the town off to a twinkling start is the switch on at Queens Road. Hosted by Urmston’s Wayne Devlin, it takes place on Friday 15/11 from 17.20 to 18.30 (beside the Christmas tree on Queens Road) and will feature performances from local school children, dance troupes and Flixton Community Brass Band. After a rousing countdown, the lights will be officially switched on by Santa at 18:00.

New for 2019 is the chance to meet Mika and Luna, two beautiful white huskies from Sibes and Sled Dogs Husky Rescue, a kids Christmas crafts stall by Impact Tuition and cake decorating stall by Gemm’s Delicious treats.

Also, for the very first time, there is the opportunity for you to take part in a festive Lantern Parade.  Children are encouraged to make or bring their own lanterns, or if you are among the first 100 to arrive at Queens Road where a limited number of free lanterns and battery-powered LED tea lights will be handed out to hold aloft and follow Santa on his sleigh to Eden Square.

A full day of events is planned to celebrate the switch-on of the Christmas lights at Eden Square on Saturday 16/11. From 10:00 until 13:00, Radio Wishing Well will entertain, followed by carols from Flixton Community Band at 13:00, music from Bob Young at 14.30 and Lisa deCaux at 15.30 before the grand lights switch-on at 16.15. Santa and his elves will be in the Grotto at Eden Square from 11:00 until 16:00 and all children are invited to come and see them for an early Christmas gift.

Encouraging more businesses to take part in the seasonal celebrations this year is a festive challenge to ‘Light Up Your Windows’ which has been launched by Urmston’s forthcoming food market Market41. Continuing its support of the town, the McGoff Group has put forward a prize fund of £500 for the staff team behind the best dressed, decorated and illuminated store window in Urmston.

Lights are key to the brief, the bigger and brighter the better, and should be displayed proudly from 15/11 onwards.  Judges Paul Danks and Kay Johnson from Market41 will be in Urmston towards the end of the month and the prettiest, sparkliest and most colourful lights will win.

Co-chair of the Urmston Partnership Claire Foster, commented, “We have two days of music, fun and entertainment to celebrate the start of the festive season and mark the official countdown to Christmas and hope residents in Urmston turn out to join us for these fantastic free community events.”

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