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Crowds at the 2015 Christmas Lights switch-on
Crowds at the 2015 Christmas Lights switch-on

Olympic medallist and X Factor star to take the stage as Sheffield sparkles

17 November 2016

SILVER medal winning trampolinist Bryony Page and X Factor singer Gifty Louise are among the well-known faces set to switch on Sheffield’s Christmas lights this Sunday, 20 November.

A full programme of entertainment will take place across the city throughout the day, before the lights are switched on in the Peace Gardens at 5pm.

Choirs, street entertainers, Christmas markets, craft activities, television costumed characters and fairground rides are among the attractions sure to keep all members of the family entertained before the main stage show.

Children can enjoy storytelling and crafts in the Winter Garden, go on an elf trail, meet Santa in his grotto on Fargate, ride on a fire engine from the National Emergency Services Museum, and also see the Snow Queen and Jack Frost, who have taken up residence in the Moor Market for Christmas. The Snow Queen show, by Kidology Arts, combines art, sculpture, music, sound and performance.

Entertainment begins on the main stage in the Peace Gardens at 2pm, hosted by Heart Radio’s breakfast presenters Dixie and Emma. Appearing on stage will be X Factor solo singer Gifty Louise, Sheffield-based Bryony Page – the first British woman to win an Olympic trampoline medal – Hype Dance, The Rock Choir, CBeebies’ Mr Maker and the cast of this year’s Snow White pantomime at the Lyceum Theatre.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, 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 there’s much more going on aside from the switch-on event itself. There is a huge choice of seasonal goodies and unusual gifts on offer at the Christmas market 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.”

This year’s Christmas market runs from 10am to 6pm daily throughout November. In December, the market will also be open until 8pm each Wednesday.

As well as independent traders from across the UK and Europe selling a variety of gifts, jewellery, crafts and fresh produce, there will be refreshment stalls selling hot food and drinks, including the annual Sleigh Bar.

Meanwhile, Thor’s Tipi Bar will be coming to Sheffield for the first time this Christmas and is set to open its doors on Thursday 24 November.

The bar, in the Peace Gardens, will be open for festive tipples right up until New Year’s Eve, serving a full range of refreshments in Viking-inspired surroundings.

Thor’s has also joined forces with Sheffield’s own Abbeydale Brewery and will be serving locally-produced ales, while street food gurus Cow Boys will be bringing a Christmas-themed menu to the bar focusing on traditional European and American cuisine.

Maria Farrugia, co-creator of Thor’s Tipi Bar, said: “Sheffield has always been a vibrant city and with the recent additions of independent retailers, the high street having huge rejuvenation and campaigns such as the BID’s Alive after 5, it is clear that the residents and local shops in the city centre are keen to keep this momentum going.

“The Christmas market looks set to be the best ever this year with almost double the numbers of stalls and the arrival of Thor’s will be a great addition to the celebratory offerings this year. We can’t wait to get everyone in the festive mood.”

Two linked canvas tipis will form the bar, festooned with lighting and decked out with wooden tables and benches, cosy furs and a fire pit. An outdoor heated area will allow customers to soak up the festival atmosphere whilst watching the hustle and bustle around them.

The bar will be open from 10.30am to 11pm daily from 24th November to 31st December (closed Christmas Day).

Those visiting the city centre on the three Saturdays before Christmas can take advantage of the festive free parking offer. 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.