Media release - issued 07 Nov 2017

Christmas arrives in Aldershot town centre

Christmas will officially arrive in Aldershot on Saturday 18 November with an afternoon of festive fun in the town centre for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

The event, organised by Rushmoor Borough Council, sees a whole host of free family entertainment on offer in the town, building up to the big 'switch-on' at 4.45pm with the stars of this year's Princes Hall pantomime, Aladdin.

From midday onwards, there will be live music on the main stage in Union Street with performances by Fuzz Universe, local bands, school choirs and dance troupes.

The Alder Valley Brass Brand and Cactus Brass Band will be entertaining shoppers with traditional music and Aldershot Lions will be there with mulled wine to raise funds for local community projects.

This year, there will be lots to keep the children entertained including a free Santa's grotto from 3.30-4.30pm, circus skills with Juggling Jake, a children's nativity farm, The Little Dallas Donkeys, free face painting and much more.

Councillor David Clifford, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: "The event marks the start of the Christmas festivities in Aldershot town centre.  There's lots going on, so it's a great day to bring the family in, support the town centre and make a start on your Christmas shopping."

Councillor Clifford added: "We're excited to tell you that there are also many other events and activities happening in town centre this Christmas and the council has been working with a group of residents from the Aldershot Community Together group to put on an exciting programme of entertainment, meaning that there will be something happening every Saturday in December."

On Saturday 9 December, there will be a day of community celebration from 10am to 5pm with local schoolchildren and performers taking to the stage.  There will also be children's rides, community groups, craft activities, sand art and festive fun, plus a Christmas Craft Fayre.

On Saturday 16 December, the community will shine a light on Aldershot with a day of live music performed by local bands, free hands-on craft activities with the West End Centre and a rodeo reindeer.  The highlight of the day will be Aldershot's first ever magical lantern procession through the town centre at dusk.  The council and volunteers will be working with local schoolchildren and community organisations to create over 350 colourful willow lanterns. Visitors are advised to arrive early to get a good viewing spot in the town centre.

Saturday 23 December will be a day of merry music with brass bands performing festive songs and Christmas Carols to entertain shoppers, plus more festive fun with The Little Dallas Donkeys, children's rides and the Little Magic Ponies.  All of the activities will build up to the popular Carols in the Bandstand evening at 5.30pm in Princes Gardens.

Aldershot town centre will also host Christmas Craft Fayres on Saturday 2 and 9 December.

Over at The Wellington shopping centre, there is a free Santa's grotto, which will be officially opened at midday on Saturday 25 November by Eagle Radio Showbiz Saturday presenter Karl Stiles. The first 20 visitors will receive an extra goody bag from Santa.

The centre will also be hosting a craft and gift fayre on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December and it's very popular giant inflatable snow globe will be back on Saturday 2 December. There will also be free face painting in the centre on the 25 November and 2 December (between 12pm & 3pm).

Free festive parking will be available in council car parks in Aldershot (apart from the former Co-op) and The Wellington shopping centre on Sunday 3, 10 and 17 December.

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