Countdown to Christmas with light switch ons

editorial image

The first snow has fallen, the shops are stocked with seasonal goods and the yuletide adverts have commenced.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and things are about to get even more festive as decorative lights are turned on across the district.

A festive market will be held in Pontefract throughout today, with live music and entertainment, ahead of the town’s switch on at 6.30pm - although Wakefield Council have said that due to the weather the Christmas Market will be limited.

Attractions will include children’s activities in Pontefract Library and a Santa’s grotto at St Giles Church.

This year’s light display will feature new £40k egg, heart and ring creations by Haribo, alongside the traditional illuminations. The town’s Christmas tree will also be decorated with strings of cherry-shaped lights and candy canes.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and skills, who will switch on the display, said: “The new Christmas lights are unique to Pontefract and are a fantastic addition to the town to help us celebrate Christmas.”

And Herwig Vennekens, Managing Director of Haribo UK, added: “Pontefract has a rich heritage in producing treats so we hope that the chosen displays will raise a smile and add a little magic to Pontefract’s festive celebrations and our countdown to Christmas.”

It will be Castleford’s turn to sparkle on Tuesday, as the lights are switched on at 5.30pm.

There will be a seasonal market, a dance troupe, mascots and a community lantern parade as well as appearances from Castleford Tigers players.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport for Wakefield Council, which is staging the two events, said: “The lights switch ons and Christmas markets mark the start of the festive period and provide an opportunity for families and friends to get together, to enjoy the entertainment and the shopping experience. ​​ ​

“We want to encourage everyone to come along, join in, and have a great time.”

Wednesday will see dazzling displays turned on in both Featherstone and Ferrybridge.

Festivities organised by Featherstone Town Council begin at 4pm and include a fun fair, donkey rides, stilt walkers, clowns and face painters.

There will also be a performance from North Featherstone Junior and Infants School choir, before the big switch on at 6pm.

Organisers said: “Come along to what will be a fun filled evening.”

In Ferrybridge, the switch on will take place from 4pm until 7pm at the community centre.

Attractions include a fun fair, stalls, singers, a Santa’s grotto and appearances from Elsa and Olaf, characters from Walt Disney’s Frozen movie.

Ackworth’s Christmas lights will be turned on this Friday, November 25. A carol service led by Ackworth Churches Together will begin at 6pm in All Saints Church followed by the switch on celebrations. Refreshments will be served in the church afterwards.