Preston gears up for bumper Christmas Season
Proud Prestonians can look forward to a mammoth festive season in the city, starting with the Christmas lights switch-on on 14th November and followed by the arrival of a five-week long Lancashire Market Christmas Festival, thanks to Preston Business Improvement District (BID) with support from the city council.
The lights switch-on will feature a complete bill of family entertainment headlined by recording artist & TV personality Alesha Dixon, secured at no cost to BID. Alesha is a mainstay of Saturday night TV following her winning then becoming a judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, before moving over to ITV alongside Simon Cowell to take a judges’ seat on Britain’s Got Talent.
The Switch On event, funded by Preston City Centre’s Business Improvement District (BID) is organised in partnership with Rock FM and supported by the city’s two main shopping centres. For the first time in Preston’s history the event will take place on the high street (Fishergate) and feature a packed line-up of entertainment from 5.30pm.
The switch-on follows a major £50,000 investment by BID into the Christmas lighting scheme as the organisation, run by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, looks to make Preston shine once again at this important time of year.
The lights switch-on will be followed almost immediately by the launch of the hugely popular Lancashire Market Christmas Festival which will take over the Flag Market from 19th November to 3rd January. The Market will feature a fine array of festive produce, a traditional alpine bar, a real ice-rink and animated attractions for the family in partnership with the city council and international market specialist S&D Leisure.
BID manager Mark Whittle said: “The Christmas season is a happy time and we know families love our switch-on event which regularly attracts many thousands of people to our great city centre – I would like to thank Fishergate and St George’s shopping centres for supporting the switch-on”.
“The Lancashire Market Christmas Festival will make our city centres a ‘must visit’ destination. The markets are beautifully themed and will be a real spectacle, improving our long-term festive offer”.
Our Christmas activity, is in the main, funded by the businesses located in the city centre, we have a duty to work together to ensure that it’s an enjoyable, positive and prosperous time for all”.
Rock FM’s Content Controller, Paul Webster, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with Preston BID for the lights switch on this year. It’s a huge event for the city and we’re extremely proud to be a partner. The lights are going to look better than ever and we’re ready to put on a great show to start Christmas in this great city.’
Preston BID has also co-ordinated a complimentary parking offer for Christmas from the Fishergate Centre, St. George’s Shopping Centre, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council, full details of which will be released in the coming weeks.