by Emma Bowden and Miriam Walker-Khan
A mystery celebrity will switch-on the 2016 Sheffield Christmas lights, kicking off this year’s festivities on Sunday 20 November.
The day promises fun for all the family, with live musicians, choirs, street entertainers, children’s characters and pantomime performers from this year’s Lyceum production of Snow White. The event begins at 2pm at the Peace Gardens, with the lights switch-on countdown starting from 5:30pm.
Father Christmas will also be making an appearance to visit Sheffield’s naughtiest and nicest children, with his grotto located on Fargate, and the Winter Garden will host its own crafts market, with stalls for children and adults.
The National Emergency Services Museum will be showcasing their very own display of vehicles, as the museum goes ‘on tour’ for the day to bring entertainment for all ages, as families can take a ride on a fire-engine.
Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor Mary Lea, said: “Christmas is a special time of year and we have plenty of festive cheer on offer for people of all ages. Last year thousands came out to enjoy Sheffield’s celebrations and I hope that families will come along again to enjoy this year’s Christmas light switch on.
“But, people won’t have to wait for the big switch to get in to the Christmas spirit, the Christmas market opens a week earlier, with a huge choice of seasonal goodies and unusual gifts on offer. And, once the shopping’s done the Sleigh Bar on Fargate and brand new Thor’s Tipi in the Peace Gardens will give a warm and cosy welcome to all our city centre visitors.”
The Sheffield Christmas market will open on Wednesday 16 November, housed in its traditional wooden cabins along Fargate and at the Peace Gardens. Independent traders from across the UK and Europe will be selling gifts, crafts, fresh produce and refreshment stalls.
The annual Sleigh Bar will also be back, as well as the new THOR Viking Tipi bar, making its first appearance in Sheffield. The bar hosts an outdoor heated area, with cosy furs and a fire pit.
Thanks to the Sheffield BID’s Alive After 5 scheme, shops in the city centre will now be open until 6pm on weekdays, and 7pm on Thursdays. From 2pm on Saturday 10, 17 and 24 December people can park for free in all Sheffield City Council on and off street parking spaces in the city centre and in the permit parking zones.
Keep up to date with all the Christmas activities in the city centre this season via the Facebook group.