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Soap star Steven Arnold who played Ashley Peacock in Coronation Street for many years will be the special guest at the big switch on of Queensgate’s new Chirstmas lights display.

On Friday November 6, Queensgate Shopping Centre will be unveiling brand new Christmas decorations with the switch on event set to be bigger and better than ever with a whole host of special guests, including Steven – soon to be starring as the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz panto at the Cresset – and Bjorn the giant polar bear!

The festivities kick off at 4pm as Bjorn arrives to enchant adults and children alike. The friendly bear loves nothing more than meeting people, posing for photos and teaching fascinating facts about himself and all his polar bear friends.

Then, from 6.30pm, join all the special guests as they begin the countdown and illuminate the stunning new Christmas light display throughout Queensgate.

Once the lights are on you can join the Peterborough Youth Choir in a magical carol singing performance. There will also be a glamourous team of roller skaters to entertain throughout the evening.


The new decorations will be accompanied by a new and improved Santa’s Grotto, set within a giant tree of lights. Father Christmas himself will arrive on the night to welcome everyone to his magical new home and spread Christmas cheer. The grotto will open from 6:30pm until 8pm on Friday November 6, and remain open throughout the weekend; it is then open daily from Saturday November 14 until Christmas Eve.

Mark Broadhead, Centre Director at Queensgate Shopping Centre, said: “I’m so excited for the people of Peterborough to see our brand new decorations. We are pulling out all the stops for Christmas this year and I’m sure families across the city will be as excited as I am to meet Bjorn! It is set to be a truly magical evening and the start to a fantastic festive season at Queensgate.”

The ever popular Giving Tree returns again this year, inviting you to treat less fortunate children in Peterborough to a Christmas gift. Simply take a tag from its branches and buy a present for that child and handing it in to the Customer Information Desk. Local charity, Spurgeons, will deliver all of the gifts in time for Christmas. Last year, an astonishing 1,647 gifts were donated by charitable shoppers within the space of six weeks, including an incredible donation of a brand new Xbox One 3D console and game.


To help shoppers during the Christmas rush, the Charity of the Year Gift Wrap is back to raise money for blood cancer charity, Bloodwise. A jolly team of wrapping experts will be on hand to cut, fold and stick around presents of all shapes and sizes – even the tricky ones.

Santa’s Grotto is open from Friday November 6 until Sunday November 8, then daily from Saturday November 14 until Christmas Eve:

Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm (til 7pm during December)

Saturday – 9am to 6pm

Sunday – 10.30am until 4.30pm

Santa has a break for 30 minutes between 12pm and 1pm.

Grotto tickets are available on arrival and tickets cost £5 per child (which includes a present).

Photos are optional to buy at the end.

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