Thousands expected to watch panto stars switch on St Albans' Christmas lights
PUBLISHED: 17:59 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:05 14 November 2017
More than 15,000 people are expected to pack St Albans city centre to see the Christmas lights turned on.
The festivities will be held on Sunday, November 26, and the lights will be turned on at 5pm in three locations: the Alban Arena, the Clock Tower, and the Vintry Gardens.
The stars of this year’s panto, including Phil ‘Mister Maker’ Gallagher, will lead the countdown at the Alban Arena.
He’ll be joined by fellow Aladdin actors: Eastenders’ Karl Howman and Eric Morecambe impersonator Bob Golding.
St Albans mayor Mohammad Iqbal Zia will help switch the lights on at the Clock Tower.
It is not yet known who will help switch the lights on at the Vintry Gardens.
St Albans Business Improvement District (BID) has paid for new lights which will run from the Town Hall to the Cock Pub.
BID manager Helen Burridge said: “The new lights are fantastic decorations which are going to attract even more visitors to the City Centre over the Christmas period and for years to come.
“Look out for a surprise later in December. The lights are not all that they seem.
“In future years, we will be investing in a bespoke festive display for the whole City Centre and will make further infrastructure improvements, too.”
St Albans council’s portfolio holder for business Beric Read said: “I welcome the involvement of St Albans BID this year and share their excitement about their new lights.
“The Christmas lights switch-on is one of the most popular city centre events of the year. It comes the day after the Christmas Market opens to get the festive season in St Albans off to a champagne start.”
The Christmas market will open on Saturday, November 25 in the Vintry Gardens, running until Saturday, December 23.
At the light switch-on, there will be face painting, a giant snow globe, Santa’s Grotto and a Christmas bauble workshop.
Visitors can also enjoy a fun fair outside the town hall museum, Chequer Street, and Victoria Street, plus a few by the Clock Tower.
Around 70 stalls will fill St Peter’s Street, selling gifts, food and drink.
Radio Verulam will broadcast parts of the event on 92.6FM.