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The official switching on of Christmas illumination lights in our towns and cities is an occasion loved by many and marks the real start of the festive season. Here's what's happening where in 2006.

Birmingham
November 11th, Millennium Point. Event starts at 3.30 pm, switch on at 7.30 pm.
Further information

Bristol
2006 details awaited

Cardiff
November 16th, Cardiff Civic Centre. Entertainment starts at 5.30 pm switch on at 6.45 pm. There will be special guests including CBeebies and Paul Carrack from Mike and the Mechanics. The switch on marks the opening of Cardiff's winter wonderland activities.
Further information

Castleton
November 18th, Castleton. Switch on at 4.30 pm. The small Peak District town of Castleton is famous for its Christmas lights, which transform the already pretty main street into a a winter fairyland. The entrance road to the town is traditionally adorned with Christmas trees, twinkling with golden lights. Think pretty Victoriana, rather than Blackpool fantasia.

Not to be missed if you take a trip to the Peak District in the run up to Christmas - there are some lovely little shops selling local gifts and products and the lights will be on until January 5th 2007. Other events include carols by candlelight on December 10th and carols and a brass band at Peak Cavern on December 16th.

Glasgow
19th November, George Square. Entry this year is by advance ticket only, but tickets are available free on a first come first served basis at venues throughout the city. Gates open at 4 pm and the pre-show starts at 5.30 pm with DJ George Bowie from Radio Clyde. The switch on, by the Lord Provost will be at 6.30 pm and there will be a 15 minute firework display. Those attending are advised to use public transport.
Further information

Leeds
November 9th, Victoria Gardens, Leeds (outside the Art Gallery). There will be entertainment and celebrity guests.
Further information

Liverpool
November 19th, St George's Plateau, Lime Street. Start 5.00 pm.
Further information

London, Bond Street
November 23rd 2006, Bond Street. Event starts at 5.00 pm switch on at 6.30 pm by special celebrity guest on the corner of Clifton Street and New Bond Street. A Christmas extravaganza not to be missed!
Full information

Manchester
November 9th, Albert Square. Pre-show starts at 5.30 pm with the switch on from 6.15 pm. Special guest stars will be Simon Webbe and characters from Snow White and Aladdin. There will be a spectacular MAMMA MIA! firework finale.
Further information

Newcastle
November 16th, Grey's Monument. Switch on at 6.30 pm by Michael Owen.
Further information

Sheffield
November 19th, Barker's Pool. Activities start at 1.30 pm and Hallam FM will be leading the stage entertainment. Switch on by the Lord Mayor and a special celebrity guest at 5.00 pm. It's a family event to include street entertainment, a seasonal market, Santa and real reindeer, snow machines, fun fair rides and traditional festive food.
Further information

Southampton
2006 details awaited.

Swansea
November 19th, city centre.
Further information

York
2006 details awaited.

 
 
 
 
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