Final preparations are under way for Rochdale’s Christmas lights switch-on and firework display taking place on Saturday (21 November).
The popular seasonal event, a big favourite with residents, will also feature a festive indoor market at Rochdale Town Hall, live on stage entertainment, food and drink, and a lantern-making workshop for children. The market opens at 1pm, with a wide range of stalls selling gifts, including beauty, clothing, cards, gifts, jewellery, crafts, advent calendars and Rochdale football club kit.
Outside, the big live switch-on show will start at 4.45pm. A host of top local acts, including X Factor star Danny Dearden from Littleborough and up and coming singer Gem O’Reilly, will take to the stage, while the Wardle Community Brass Band will regale the crowd with festive favourites. The show will be hosted by Elliot Eastwick from the Revolution 96.2 Breakfast Show, along with plenty of festive music to sing and dance along to. There will also be a special appearance by Father Christmas, a performance by Hopwood Hall College drama students and much more.
Inside the town hall from 1pm hot roast turkey baguettes and two course Christmas lunches will be served in the Christmas Café, alongside festive afternoon teas.
Youngsters can also play a special part in the celebrations by coming to a free workshop before the switch on where they will learn to create their very own Christmas lantern which they can then bring to the event later on to create a sea of light. The workshop is inside the town hall from 2.30pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult and booking is not required.
Rochdale singer and former Cardinal Langley pupil Gem O’Reilly, one of the performers at the event, said:
“Rochdale’s switch-on always signals the countdown to Christmas and I know the event has enjoyed huge crowds of many thousands over the years so it’s a great opportunity for me. Saturday will be a wonderful chance to perform in front of my local community. It is fantastic to be part of something so homely and special to Christmas. I will be performing a selection of Christmas covers including a country-pop version of White Christmas. I'm looking forward to it so much!”
Parking is free for up to 3 hours in council car parks, and there is also additional free parking for the switch-on at nearby Hopwood Hall College’s car park off St Mary’s Gate.
Christmas switch on events are also taking in place in:
Heywood town centre on Saturday 21 November - 11am to 6pm
Littleborough town centre on Saturday 28 November – 12 noon to 6pm