Christmas due to arrive in Ipswich this week with the big switch-on planned for Thursday, November 19

Ipswich Christmas lights are being switched on.

Ipswich Christmas lights are being switched on. - Credit: citizenside.com

The festive shopping season in Ipswich is set to officially start this week with the big light switch-on during the first late-night shopping evening in the town on Thursday.

The lights will be switched on by mayor Glen Chisholm at about 6.30pm with help from the cast of the Ipswich Regent pantomime and Etholle George from BBC Radio Suffolk.

The centrepiece will once again be the modern Christmas Tree on the Cornhill itself, but the lights should add a real festive atmosphere across the town centre.

The big switch-on will also be shown live on a large screen on Lloyds Avenue across the town and on the council’s website – so you won’t have to be in the Cornhill to catch the moment.

There are a succession of other events across the town over the next month – including a Christmas Market during the second weekend in December.

Another highlight of this year’s Christmas shopping season will be the relaunch of the Tower Ramparts shopping centre as Sailmakers at the end of a £4m redevelopment.

The big switch-on is being organised by the borough council in a bid to attract more visitors into the town centre.

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Organisers are hoping that the weather behaves itself on Thursday night – and early indications are that it should not be too wet and is likely to be relatively mild for mid-November.

The lights and the tree have been proved in partnership with Ipswich Central, which manages the town centre on behalf of the business community.

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said: “The borough’s festive lights switch-on starts off Christmas and, this year, kicks off late-night shopping.

“Ipswich Central was pleased to help fund the town’s lighting scheme on behalf of our 625 members and we hope that our retailers can look forward to a successful trading period.”

There will be free park and ride services into the town centre every Thursday after 3pm – financed by Ipswich Borough Council.

The Ipswich Star has linked up with the borough council to offer competition prizes during the Christmas shopping season in the town Full details will be published over the next few days, starting with tomorrow’s Star.

See details of other light switch on events taking place in Suffolk here

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