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The city centre is about to get that festive feel and with the return of a real Christmas tree to Cathedral Square and a big new festive market it looks set to be a cracker!

The big light switch-on event takes place this Friday November 15 when the winter nights will get a real lift with some stunning illuminations throughout the city centre.

The family entertainment on stage will be hosted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Breakfast Show presenter Kev Lawrence and producer Andy Lake. The fun starts at 3pm and lasts until 8pm, with the lights being switched on at 7pm.

As the event coincides with Children In Need night, Pudsey Bear will also be making a special appearance.

Big crowds are expected once again with many people pleased to see the return of a real 40 foot spruce lighting up for the first time since 2014!

Jack Allen, from the New Theatre in Peterborough, which is supporting the tree, said: “We are delighted to have helped get a real tree back into the heart of the city. The switch-on will be the first opportunity to see it all lit up, which will be a spectacular sight and sure to get everyone into the festive spirit!”

The on stage entertainment features multi-award winning Cambridge band 4th Labyrinth, the Urban Dance Academy, Peterborough Cathedral Choir led by Tansy Castledine, Peterborough Voices led by Will Prideaux, Lucy’s Pop Choir and panto stars from the Cresset, Key and New Theatres will put on a show.

This year’s switch-on is being supported by Vodafone, whose Gigafast Broadband is bringing some of the faster broadband speeds in the UK, straight to homes and businesses across Peterborough.

Councillor Steve Allen, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for recreation, said:  “This year’s event includes entertainment for all the family which I hope will encourage lots of young people into the city centre. As well as enjoying the big switch-on, you can take the chance to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy the many restaurants that Peterborough has to offer.

“Working in partnership with Vodafone means we are able to offer an event packed with fantastic entertainment and plenty of festive sparkle.”

Father Christmas, city Mayor Councillor Gul Nawaz and Peterborough City Council Leader Councillor John Holdich will be switching on the lights which will be followed by a burst of fireworks to get Christmas in the city off to a great start.

There’s another fantastic addition to the festivities this year with a large new Christmas Market on the Cathedral Green the day of the lights switch-on and running right through until December 28. The market will see dozens of chalet style stalls also open up along Bridge Street and Long Causeway on November 17 and Cathedral Square on November 26.

As part of the event, the Guildhall will be turned into a cool Ice Bar, while youngsters can enjoy a trip to Santa’s Grotto, carousel rides and other fun and games.

The market will be open daily from 10am until late and will include more than 100 food, drink and stalls selling festive food, drinks and goods from all over the world.

There will be a fabulous Christmas Craft Market inside Peterborough Cathedral on the evening of the switch-on too.

They’ve added new stalls this year packed with a huge range of unique gifts and handmade crafts all available in the Cathedral Nave and Transepts on the evening of Friday November 15 and during the day on Saturday November 16.

There will be so much to choose from including vegan soaps, hand-painted silk scarves, leather-goods, ceramics, artworks, bamboo socks, jewellery and much more. Refreshments will also be on sale.

A donation of £2 per adult is invited on entry and the proceeds will go towards the running of Peterborough Cathedral.

The Craft and Gift Market is open in the cathedral from 6.30pm to 9pm on Friday November 15 and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday November 16.

For more information visit or call 01733 355315.

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