Former Norwich City star Dion Dublin to switch Christmas lights on in Norwich

Ukulele elves, fire performers and a former Norwich City footballer will be launching Christmas in Norwich this week with the annual lights switch-on event.

Former Norwich City and England striker Dion Dublin will switch the lights on at 7pm on Thursday, November 17 in front of City Hall.

The evening of entertainment gets under way from 6.15pm with a host of family fun including a children's fancy dress competition, candle-lit lantern procession, Christmas carols, an inflatable snowball fight and firework burst at 7pm.

At 6.15pm more than 50 year-seven students from the Hewett School will form a magical candle-lit procession of paper lanterns, joined by stilt walkers, a band, Father Christmas and human snowballs choir who will lead the carol singing.

The procession will leave The Great Hospital on Bishopgate walking along Cathedral Close, Queen Street, London Street, Castle Street, Davey Place and Gentlemans Walk to City Hall.

From 6.45pm to 7pm in front of City Hall there will be a fire performer, an inflatable snowball fight and a children's Christmas theme fancy dress competition with a prize for the best dressed.

Norwich City Council's culture and events officer Liz Wimms said: 'We have a great evening planned including an enchanting candle-lit procession winding its way through our beautiful city, traditional Christmas carols, fancy dress and the big countdown and firework burst at 7pm from City Hall and the Jarrold store. We are delighted that Dion Dublin will be kick-starting Christmas in Norwich and we hope to see lots of families enjoying a magical evening of free festive fun.'

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The event has been organised by Norwich City Council's events and culture team and supported by BBC Radio Norfolk, Norwich Evening News, Jarrold and Virgin Money.

There will also be real snow at the new Virgin Money lounge.

Customer director at Virgin Money Caroline Marsh said: 'Virgin Money are proud to support the Norwich Christmas switch-on and fireworks burst. It should be a colourful and fun evening and comes on the eve of the Virgin Money Lounge opening on Castle Street, our very first high street presence.'

There will also be a wealth of activities happening in the city centre. From 5pm to 9pm Norwich Lanes are holding a street fair on Upper St Giles which includes a Christmas market, choirs, street theatre, the Christmas tree trail, seasonal mulled wine and mince pies and some ukulele elves.

The Forum will be open until late and will host a craft fair selling charity Christmas cards and gifts. Fusion, the giant digital screen will show IMPACT – creative photography and sounds from Norwich City College and Great Yarmouth High School, and outside there will be a simulator ride.

*Are you planning a Christmas event? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email

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