It’s that time of year again. The smell of mulled wine is in the air, the weather’s turning chilly and Santa is polishing his sleigh.
Thousands of Nottinghamshire families mark the build-up to Christmas by going to a light switch-on – and some of the local ones have taken on near-legendary status in recent years.
As councils and events companies compete to boast as many bulbs as possible, which one is going to be the best this year?
To help you decide, here’s a run-down of some of the best events in the region over the coming weeks.
Nottingham, Market Square- Friday 20 November 5.30- 8pm
The city of Nottingham will kick off its festivities on Friday when it turns on its lights and officially opens the Winter Wonderland. There will be free entertainment including theatre, music and appearances from Sam, Amy and Dangerous Dave.
Worksop, Priory Shopping Centre – Saturday 21 November 2.30- 4.30pm
The Worksop lights are being switched on by David Bradley, the actor who played Billy Casper in classic film Kes. David Aunins the Centre Manager of the Priory said: “We’re in high spirits to welcome the legendary Billy from Kes. To celebrate this festive occasion we have brought in the much-loved actor from a well-known film of many of our childhoods. We aim for this switch on to the best yet!”
Gedling, Arnot Hill Park- Saturday 28 November 1.15- 5pm
Gedling’s traditional ‘Christmas in The Park’ is ticketed this year with limited tickets available from their website. The arts and crafts event is aimed at children (accompanied by adults) with thier work being used to decorate the civic foyer. There will also be traditional story-telling and carols preceding the lights being switched on by the mayor at 5.10
Beeston, Broadgate Park- Saturday 28 November 3- 7pm
The Beeston Christmas lights switch on is always a big event and this years is no different. There will be fairground rides, a Santa’s grotto and even fireworks at 6.30. There will also be over three hours of live music. Fun for the whole family.
Long Eaton, Market Place- Thursday 26 November 530- 8pm
The popular Long Eaton event includes a Christmas fair, a carol sing-a-long and festive street entertainers, culminating in the Mayor of Erewash lighting up the town.
Newark, Newark Market Place – Sunday 29 November 11am- 5pm
The countdown to Christmas in Newark begins on Sunday 29 November with a full day of festivities. the regular Sunday traditional crafts, chilli market and fun fair will have a festive twist with Christmas activities and maybe even some surprise appearances from Christmas characters.
Hucknall, Hucknall Market Place – Wednesday 2 December 4pm- TBC
Hucknall is one of the latest towns in Nottingham to switch their lights on, not flicking the switch until into December. There will be a Christmas markets in which patrons are encouraged to exchange gift ideas and group carol singing.
Mansfield, Mansfield Market Place – Sunday 15 November 11am – 5pm
The Christmas countdown starts with a bang in Mansfield with a wide variety of activities in the day leading up to the big switch on. There is an Aladdin themed treasure hunt, a chance to meet Paddington bear and a selection of short family movies to watch on the big screen.
Retford, Retford Market Square – Sunday 29 November – 10am- 6pm
There will be live entertainment throughout the day in Retford, aimed at the whole family building up to Santa and his little helpers switching on the lights at 5 pm. There will also be a Christmas Market at this free event.