All set for the big switch-on in Darlington
THE countdown is on to the big switch on of this year’s Christmas lights in Darlington town centre on Thursday 23 November from 3pm.
Supported by town centre leisure scheme Feethams Darlington, the event will mark the start of Christmas in Darlington alongside special parking offers, late night shopping and a special Christmas market.
Based in West Row and on High Row, the market opens from 9am until 8pm and will offer a unique range of festive gifts and food to get everyone in the festive mood.
The fun starts from 3pm with street performers around the town centre. Mowden Junior School will perform carols from 4.30pm outside Pizza Express on Skinnergate.
Later in the day, thousands are expected to fill the Market Square from 5pm as TFM Radio’s Steve and Karen get everyone in a festive party spirit along with Father Christmas, Courtney Hadwin (The Kids Voice Final), Shanaya Atkinson-Jones (X Factor) and Bubbles and Snow White from Darlington Hippodrome panto.
The switch on will take place at 6.30pm. The Hurworth Concert band will provide entertainment from 6:30 until 8pm.
Christmas fun and shopping continues afterwards as the market and local shops stay open until 8pm, giving shoppers the chance to browse the wide range of stalls and shops. Festive food and film is also available at Feethams late into the evening.
Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “Many thanks to Feethams Darlington for sponsoring our big lights switch on.
“It might be getting colder, but here in Darlington, we are really warming up for the Festive season. The Christmas Lights is just the start; there’s a host of things lined up to entice families into the town for festive fun and shopping. Make sure Darlington is on your Christmas list.”
Ahmad Majidiasl, marketing manager at Feethams, said: “It’s our favourite time of year here at Feethams and we’re really excited to be supporting all the festive fun on offer in Darlington.
“There will be lots of great entertainment for families and friends to enjoy together at the lights switch on, and right up to the big day. It’s definitely not to be missed and we hope to see many people getting into the Christmas spirit with us.”
Darlington Markets will also be joining in the festivities with their Christmas market continuing on West Row and High Row on Friday and Saturday (November 24 and 25) from 9am to 5pm.
The market will have something for everyone on your Christmas list, from gifts and leather goods through to artisan cheeses and sweet treats.
There will also be Street Food available including Jamaican jerk chicken and Bangladeshi specials, as well as old favourites fish and chips.
On Friday there will be Children’s Carol Singing from 10:30am to noon, with pupils from St Augustine’s and Gurney Pease Academy.
The covered and external Markets will run to their normal times, with their full range of stalls throughout the event.
Parking and bus offers promise to make it easier and cheaper to get into Darlington over the festive period. Car park users can take advantage of three hours for the price of two in council-run short stay car parks from 23 November until 2 January.
The offer will apply in the following car parks: Abbotts Yard, Archer Street, Commercial Street East & West, Feethams Multi Storey, Hird St, Kendrew Street East & West, Park Place East & West, St Hilda’s, Winston North & South. In addition, parking is available for £2 for a full day in East Street car park. Offers do not apply to on-street pay and display bays
Bus users can take advantage of special ticket offers from Arriva with two unlimited travel tickets around the town for £5 (normal price £3.50 each).