Town centre has had it tough but there is something for all

Businesses in Suffolk are hiring people to work over the busy Christmas period

David Ellesmere said there is something for all in Ipswich this Christmas. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

No one will forget last Christmas and the way Covid restrictions wrecked so many families’ plans.

Hopefully this year will be more “normal” though worries about the new Omicron variant mean that we must all be careful. It’s important for everyone to get vaccinated and boosted and to follow the new rules about wearing masks in shops and public transport.

We couldn’t have an official switch on event again this year, but the lights in the town centre are looking great. The Cornhill looks particularly good after dark with a fantastic Christmas tree and the Town Hall, Old Post Office and Lloyds Arch all looking stunning.

There is a final chance for blue badge holders to drive through town to see the lights on the evening of Sunday 12th December. Tickets are available from the Ipswich Theatres website.

Our town centre retailers have had it tough over the last couple of years so it’s really important we support them this Christmas by shopping local. Ipswich has a fine selection of small independent stores – especially in the Saints area – which are ideal for present shopping.

Many shops are opening late on Thursdays between now and Christmas. This includes retailers such Deichman, Entertainer, Lush and Primark who don’t have stores elsewhere in Suffolk.

To make your late-night shopping easier and give you a few extra pounds to spend in the town centre, Ipswich Borough Council’s Crown Street car park is free after 2pm every Thursday until Christmas.

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As well as free parking the Council and Ipswich Central have also laid on some free entertainment. On 16th and 23rd December, the incredible light-up drummers ‘Spark!’ will be performing on the Cornhill at 4pm, 5.30pm and 7pm.

It wouldn’t be a family Christmas without taking the kids to the pantomime so it’s great there’s a full programme of entertainment again this year.

The Regent will be playing host to Aladdin from 17th December to 2nd January with New Wolsey’s rock’n’roll panto Jack and the Beanstalk on until 8th January. Or as an alternative to the traditional panto, how about trying Pinocchio at Dance East or Eastern Angles’ From Rushmere With Love?

There really is something for everyone.