Christmas lights switch-on details for Aylsham, Cromer and North Walsham

Christmas light switches will be flicked in a further three north Norfolk towns next week as Aylsham, Cromer and North Walsham get set for the festive season.

Friday December 2 sees ceremonies and fun in both Aylsham and Cromer. A lantern procession leaves St Michael's School, Aylsham, at 5.45pm and everyone is invited to join it into Market Place, via the churchyard, for the arrival of Father Christmas and the 6pm switch-on.

Church bells will ring and Aylsham Town Band will be playing a selection of seasonal favourites in Market Place and later in the parish church where there will be a Christmas tree festival.

Keep an eye open for Santa's unusual mode of transport - which is being kept a closely-guarded secret. Young visitors can meet him in his Eclipse Hair Salon grotto, on Red Lion Street.

Many shops will stay open and there will be local crafts on sale in Aylsham Town Hall. Food will also be on offer in the town hall and Market Place.

Fairground rides, entertainment, charity and farmers' market stalls, and children's workshops will add to the merriment.

Cromer is planning a two-day extravaganza including a Christmas market, boasting some 35 stalls in the town centre and parish church, next Friday and on Saturday, December 3.

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Events will get under way at 2pm when the market will open. Later in the afternoon entertainers Dr Ken and Neil Headstrong will be in the street and the churchyard with their own brand of manic humour, juggling, uni-cycling and a range of other activities leading up to the switch-on programme which starts just after 6pm, with the switch being flicked at 6.45pm by 10-year-old children's poster winner Zofia Lily Fijalkowska.

Father Christmas, carol singing and many open shops will offer added reasons for dallying and on Saturday the market continues from 9am to 5.30pm with children's activities taking place in the church, and at various times there are also indoor craft markets at the St John Hall, in Bond Street, and the community hall, in Garden Street.

Ex-Norwich City player Darren Huckerby will be signing copies of his autobiography in Jarrold's, on Church Street, from 5pm-6.30pm.

The top end of High Street will be closed from noon on Friday until approximately 7pm on Saturday. Tucker Street traffic will be able to make use of lower High Street to leave the area for the period of the closure. Church Street will be closed on Friday only, from 6pm to approximately 7.30pm.

Saturday, December 3, is North Walsham's big day. Market Place will be closed from 9am and events begin at 2.30pm with stalls and the beginning of a programme of Market Cross entertainment which sees North Walsham Girls' Community Choir at 2.30pm, North Walsham Junior School from 3.15pm-3.30pm, North Walsham High School from 3.30pm-4.30pm and the arrival of Father Christmas in his sleigh at 3.45pm. He will be heading from Church Street to his grotto near the Market Cross.

North Norfolk Radio will lead the fun from 5pm and schoolgirl Amy Chare, 12, winner of North Walsham Town Council's first Youth Award in June for her voluntary work with St John Ambulance, will switch on the lights at 6pm. Revellers will then have a chance to sing along to Christmas carols played by Salvation Army musicians.

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