City gets ready for Christmas lights switch-on - but no fireworks

ian clarkeFamilies attending the annual Christmas lights switch-on in Norwich have been promised an evening of top entertainment tonight despite concerns over wind conditions forcing organisers to cancel the fireworks on safety grounds.ian clarke

Families attending the annual Christmas lights switch-on in Norwich have been promised an evening of top entertainment tonight despite concerns over wind conditions forcing organisers to cancel the fireworks on safety grounds.

Traditionally the popular festive event culminates in an explosion of fireworks from the top of City Hall and near-by Jarrold store, but the predicted high winds has put paid to that.

The decision follows concerns raised by display company Shell Shock about the predicted weather conditions and the potential safety risk.

Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'We are very disappointed not to be able to have fireworks this year, but people's safety has to be the number one priority.


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'The lights switch-on is a family friendly event and people in Norwich always turn out in force each year to be part of it. Children can come to see Father Christmas and post their letters to him and the singing and dancing on the stage at Millennium Plain beside the giant Christmas tree will really get the festive atmosphere going.'

An evening packed with entertainment is lined up for families at the event supported by Heart 102.4 before the crowds count down to the switching on of the festive lights at City Hall, The Forum Christmas tree on Millennium Plain and streets across the city at 7pm.

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Former Norwich City stars Darren Huckerby and Craig Fleming will be joined by heavyweight boxer Sam Sexton at Norwich City Council's annual lights switch-on tonight and young children can also look forward to seeing The Gruffalo and Father Christmas.

From 6.15pm, children will be able to meet Santa and post their Christmas wish lists and letters to him in a special post box.

A special stage has been installed on Millennium Plain where people can enjoy the Norwich Young People's Voices Choir as it performs Christmas classics, and dance group Slanteddance.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Eve Collishaw, will also announce the winner of a competition to find the best dressed window in the Norwich Lanes.

After the switch-on, people will also be able to soak up the Christmas atmosphere around The Lanes. A rock gospel band will perform outside Jarrold from 6pm to 8pm, and carols, mince pies and mulled wine will be on offer in St Gregory's Green from 8.30pm.

Extended evening bus services will run from the Norwich International Airport, Postwick and Thickthorn Park and Ride sites. The Sprowston, Costessey and Harford sites will operate with last buses leaving the city centre at 8.30pm.

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