THE COUNTDOWN to Christmas officially began in Worcester as the city centre was illuminated with a sea of festive lights.
Hundreds of people braved the cold to witness the city’s Christmas lights being switched on outside the Guildhall yesterday (Thursday).
The special evening saw performances from Worcester acoustic trio Done by Sunrise and contemporary group the Rock Choir before Cinderella and Buttons from the Kay’s Pantomime Company helped Mayor of Worcester Coun Pat Agar turn the lights on.
The event, which was jointly organised by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and CrownGate Shopping Centre, also marked the start of late night shopping in Worcester. A majority of the stores in the city centre will now be staying open until 9pm every Thursday in the run-up to Christmas.
Helen Mole, head of events at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is our first year organising the Christmas lights switch-on and we could not be more excited.”
Erica Burlace, centre manager of CrownGate, added: “We are thrilled to be working alongside the Chamber of Commerce this year to make the Christmas lights switch-on a city-wide event, which will provide visitors with double the fun.”
Worcester is also set to welcome a special visitors this weekend as Father Christmas arrives in CrownGate on Sunday (November 17).
He will be escorted down the High Street by the Jazz Ramblers before taking up residence in his Grotto in Friary Walk where he will meet and greet visitors for free every Saturday, between 12pm and 4pm.
Santa will also be available on Sundays, between 12pm and 2pm, from November 23, Fridays, between 12pm and 4pm, from November 29, and on Monday, December 23 between the same times.