Old Town is gearing up for spectacular show to mark this year’s Christmas lights switch-on

Old Town is gearing up for a spectacular show to mark this year’s Christmas lights switch-on, featuring plenty of festive entertainment, with the line-up beginning to take shape.

All of the local restaurants and cafes in Old Town will be open as usual so you can grab a bite to eat and get a hot drink so you enjoy the light switch on in comfort.

Local musicians and singers, such as Caitlin Bowles, Royal Soul, and Jim Blair, will take to Wood Street’s main stage on Sunday 26 November in the build-up to the area being transformed with an array of dazzling lights.

There will also be segments from local dance and performance groups, and a second entertainment area outside of the Swindon Arts Centre.

A new addition to the event this year will be a selection of performances from Swindon’s Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts. The Academy is based over at Westmead and offers talented students a 3-year vocational qualification in musical theatre.

Since opening their doors in 2013, Principals Jonathan & Nikki Wilkes, and Suzanne Mole have welcomed students from all over the world. Earlier this year, they celebrated a number of graduate success stories with professional West End contracts being offered students for stage shows such as Thriller Live and Mama Mia, as well as continuing to work closely with P&O Cruises.

On announcing their addition to this year’s line-up, Jonathan WIlkes said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been asked to be involved in such a great event for Old Town.

“Whilst it gives our students an opportunity to be centre-stage, we’re pleased to be performing in front of the local community too – something all the family can enjoy.”

Along with performances from those taking part in their vocational qualification, budding performers from Wilkes Academy’s popular under 16s class will also have their time to shine under the stage lights.

The afternoon’s festivities will start from 1pm, with businesses throughout Old Town open for trade, as well as a second area of entertainment outside of the Swindon Arts Centre on Devizes Road. The lights are scheduled to be turned on at 5pm, with details of the finale available to the public in early November.

Chairman of the Old Town Business Association, Richard Deacon commented: “Our line-up this year is looking fantastic, and I’m so pleased we could call upon our talented local community to join in.

The switch-on event is all about bringing communities together to celebrate the countdown to Christmas with their friends and family. I’m hoping the entertainment and lights create an amazing atmosphere in Old Town, giving pleasure to residents and visitors alike.”

For further details on this year’s event, stay connected via the ‘This Is Old Town’ Facebook page, which is owned and managed by the Old Town Business Association.