Ipswich will light up for Christmas at 5pm on Sunday following day of festivities

Crowds of people gathered for festivities and entertainment in the Cornhill for the Ipswich Christm

Crowds of people gathered for festivities and entertainment in the Cornhill for the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on last year - Credit: Archant

Christmas begins in earnest in Ipswich this weekend as the town’s lights are switched on.

Mayor Bill Quinton will do the honours at 5pm on Sunday from the Town Hall steps, helped by youngsters from Suffolk Family Carers, rounding off a day of entertainment.

Street artists, fairground rides, panto stars and carol singing will all take place around the town centre.

Two festive markets will also be held on Sunday for those looking to get ahead on their Christmas shopping. There will be more than 30 stalls in the St Peter’s Street craft and vintage market, running 10am-4pm, as well as a craft and gift fair at St Peter’s by the Waterfront church for the same time.

Cast members from the Regent Theatre’s Cinderella pantomime will be on the Cornhill to pose for pictures with the public, while Ipswich Film Theatre presents animation classic Arthur Christmas at 2pm.

To help draw in the crowds Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) has cut the price of all-day parking on Sunday to just £1 in all its town centre car parks.

It is also joining forces with Suffolk County Council to offer free park and ride into the town on all Sundays in the run-up to Christmas.

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Next weekend sees the big Ipswich Christmas Market running from Friday November 21 to Sunday November 23, with stalls running from 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am-4pm Sunday.

In our ‘Local guide to a perfect Christmas’ printed this week, we published an incorrect date for the Ipswich Christmas market. We are sorry for any confusion caused.