With the countdown to Christmas officially on, Rochdale Borough Council has announced its annual festive celebration, with the big Christmas lights switch on and firework display set to take place on Saturday 21 November.
The popular seasonal event, a favourite with residents, will also feature a festive indoor market at Rochdale Town Hall, on stage entertainment and lantern making workshops for children.
The market opens at 1pm, with a wide range of stalls selling gifts including clothing, accessories, handmade cards, advent calendars and Rochdale football club kit. Winter afternoon teas and seasonal food and drink will be served in the Christmas Café.
Outside the town hall, 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 local singer Gem O’Reilly will take to the stage, while the Wardle Community Brass Band will regale the crowd with festive favourites. There will also be a special appearance by Father Christmas, a performance by Hopwood Hall College drama students and much more.
The youngsters can also play a special part in the celebrations by coming to one of two free workshops, where they will learn how to create their very own Christmas lantern which they can then bring to the switch on to create a sea of light at the event. The first workshop takes place at Touchstones Rochdale on Saturday 14 November from 12.30 to 3.30pm. The second workshop takes place inside Rochdale Town Hall on Saturday 21 November from 2.30 to 4.30pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult and booking is not required.
Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said:
“This is always a fantastic event which kicks off the season wonderfully. With a local festive market, food and drink, activities for the children and our spectacular firework display, there really is something for everyone. Rochdale town centre has such a magical atmosphere at this time of year and I expect we’ll draw the crowds once again for this seasonal favourite.”
Last year thousands packed Rochdale town centre for the annual switch on show to watch performances from guests including 2015 Strictly Come Dancing star, actress Georgia May Foote and Britain’s Got Talent boyband ‘The Mend’.
This year’s event, hosted by radio station 96.2 The Revolution, will signal the start of Rochdale’s festive celebrations.
Christmas switch on events are also taking in place in:
· Middleton town centre on Saturday 14 November – 12noon to 6.30pm
· Heywood town centre on Saturday 21 November - 11am to 6pm
· Littleborough town centre on Saturday 28 November – 12noon to 6pm