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Ipswich Christmas lights switch on less than 24 hours away

PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 20:59 20 November 2019

The event has been packed since the return of a real 50-foot tree to the Cornhill in 2017 Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

The event has been packed since the return of a real 50-foot tree to the Cornhill in 2017 Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Archant

It's less than 24 hours until the Christmas lights illuminate the streets of Ipswich - will you be at the Cornhill to see the big moment?

The view fromThe balcony of the town hall at the 2018 switch-conPicture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILThe view fromThe balcony of the town hall at the 2018 switch-conPicture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

The switch-on, which starts at 4.30pm on November 21, will see the Town Hall and streets lit up with festive garlands and serves as a chance for this year's Ipswich Regent pantomime stars to give the audience a little taste of what is coming to the theatre in December.

Stars like S Club 7's Hannah Spearritt and BBC Suffolk's very own Wayne Bavin could be taking to the stage alongside hosts for the evening from radio station Town 102 to whip the crowd up into a frenzy before Mayor Jan Parry appears for the official turning on of the lights.

Former Northgate High School student and The Voice contestant Jade Mayjean Peters will also be singing Christmas classics and original songs for the crowd.

Reindeer food will be available for children for a perfect picture opportunity in front of Santa's sleigh, with donations being collected by event sponsor Hudson Group for their chosen charity.

More than 5,000 people make the trip to the Cornhill in Ipswich to see the moment the Christmas lights go on Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHYMore than 5,000 people make the trip to the Cornhill in Ipswich to see the moment the Christmas lights go on Picture: LUCY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Visitors can also meet and pose for a photo with Suffolk Constabulary mascot, PD Morse, who will be on the streets with officers patrolling to help people stay safe after dark in the town centre.

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The arrival of the 50-foot pine tree - delivered over the weekend from Elveden Forest - heralded the final phase of decorating in the town centre, as men in cherry pickers spent two days draping baubles and strings of lights over it.

With a strict capacity on the Cornhill of 5,000 people, council staff will be closing the entrance gates so members of the public have enough room to safely watch the magical moment thousands of fairy lights will light up the walkways.

The modern, metal bauble tree now resides on the Waterfront close to the University of Suffolk Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOTThe modern, metal bauble tree now resides on the Waterfront close to the University of Suffolk Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT

A special area with limited capacity has been set aside for people in wheelchairs and with mobility needs.

The area is located in front of the Town Hall steps, accessible via the Princes Street entrance point.

After the lights come on shoppers will be able to enjoy the first night of late-night shopping in Ipswich shops, making the evening the perfect chance to start looking for presents for loved ones.

Across the town the newer, modern tree, which sat on the Cornhill between 2012 and 2016, will also light up on the Ipswich waterfront, outside the university of Suffolk.

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