It won’t just be Ipswich Central and Ipswich Borough Council’s new Christmas decorations leaving you beaming next week. A host of activities have been organised on the Cornhill for the Big Switch On event.

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It won’t just be Ipswich Central and Ipswich Borough Council’s new Christmas decorations leaving you beaming this week. A host of activities have been organised on the Cornhill for the Big Switch On event.

The spectacular new lights will be located across the retail heart of the town, down to and including the Waterfront.

In order to make the most of them and make it a real celebration visitors will remember, a whole afternoon of fun has been planned, starting at noon and running until the actual switch on about 5pm.

There will be on-street entertainment across the town, performers, Father Christmas will be in his grotto, snow is guaranteed to fall at intervals throughout the day and there will be musical delights courtesy of the stars of the Regent’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as dance routines from DanceEast and Samboomba.

If you fancy a sing-a-long, the Funky Voices Choir will be performing Christmas classics and the Wattisham Military Wives Choir will also be making an appearance just before the Big Switch On itself.

Worried about the weather? If you want to stay in the warm, Ipswich Film Theatre will be showing It’s A Wonderful Life in the Corn Exchange – perfect to get in the festive spirit.

To make the most of your day in Ipswich, there will be a wealth of Christmas-related offers on the Ipswich VIP website and with the launch of the All About Ipswich app taking place in mid-November you can make sure you don’t miss any of the activity planned by accessing all the offers, performance times and festive interests via your smart phone.

“As part of our on-going work in revitalising Ipswich town centre, we took the decision, along with Ipswich Borough Council, to invest significantly in the Christmas decorations for the town,” said Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central.

“Towns and cities are changing constantly and with the rise in online purchases, people need real and compelling reasons to make the journey into towns. We want to make Ipswich a destination people want to come and enjoy, relax and spend.

“With the spectacular display of Christmas lights we have this year, people have one more exceptionally good reason to come and visit.”

To make travel in and around Ipswich easier, the Park and Ride services from both London Road and Martlesham Heath will be extending their operating hours and offering a free service for the peak Christmas shopping periods.

For every Thursday up until Christmas, the Park and Ride will be free from 3pm onwards and will be running at ten-minute intervals. From this Sunday, the Park and Ride service will be running all day, at 20-minute intervals, completely free of charge.

“Ipswich has a lot to offer, especially at Christmas and we’re sure the new lights will help market the town to thousands of people who live across Suffolk and north Essex. It’s not just about shopping – we have festive markets, top Christmas shows and unrivalled bars and restaurants,” added councillor Carole Jones.

“We also offer some great parking deals and along with Park and Ride, we offer visitors a much bigger and better experience than other towns.”

As with all Christmases, this one wouldn’t be the same without a few surprises which will be revealed during the Switch On on Sunday, November 25.

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