EIGHT DAYS TO GO… Countdown begins to Christmas lights ‘switch on’ event on Erdington High Street – Thursday 24 November

Words & profile pic by Ed King /  Artwork supplied by Ceol Agency

IT’S CHRIISSTTMMAASS… or at least it will be, soon.

Erdington’s festive season officially begins on Thursday 24 November, with the Christmas lights ‘switch on’ event taking place on Erdington High Street.

Running from 4pm to 7pm and completely free to attend, there will be a programme of family friendly music and celebration up and down the High Street – with a main stage outside the Co-op supermarket and second community choir stage outside St Barnabas Church.

There will also be a free Santa’s Grotto downstairs at Central Square, where up to 1000 children can visit the winter wonderland at the Secret Arts Studio Space, meet Santa, and get a free selection box treat – as organised by The Recovery Foundation, and supported by the Erdington Business Improvement District (EBID)

‘Switching on’ the Christmas lights will Birmingham born gymnast, Joe Fraser – coming to kickstart Erdington’s festive season after winning two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and helping England retain their No1 spot.

Hosted by Radio WM DJ and presenter Henry Liston, the main stage will also welcome local superstar singer Liam Price, who shot to fame after his debut on The Voice Kids UK (2019).

More music will come from the storytelling ensemble The Trouverers, fronted by Katrina – alongside a troupe of Indian Drummers, playing rhythmic beats with traditional South Asian instruments and costume.

Abbey Primary School Choir will also be performing with the Birmingham Irish Association, singing the traditional Christmas carol, ‘In dulci jubilo’.

Closing the main stage celebration will be a special live performance from the international duo Soreno, bringing a classical twist to a modern medley of folk, pop, and light jazz.

The community choir stage outside St Barnabas will host choirs from across Erdington, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Six Ways Baptist Church – joined by world touring guitarist and singer Stefan Stefanov.

Organised by the Erdington Business Improvement District (EBID) and local partners, the Christmas lights ‘switch on’ event on 24 November will be surrounded by more free events for the family to enjoy on Erdington High Street – including a ‘Nutcracker Trail’ and ‘Best Dressed Window’ competition.

The month long programme of free festive fun, starting just over four weeks before Christmas Day, will bring some welcomed Christmas cheer to Erdington – after years of Covid restrictions and amidst the current cost of living crisis.

Supporting local businesses, the EBID also hope the free Christmas events will encourage people to search for those special seasonal gifts on Erdington High Street.

Town Centre Manager John Hodgkiss told Erdington Local: “This winter the Erdington Business Improvement District (EBID) wanted to bring some Christmas cheer firmly back to Erdington, with an exciting programme of family friendly fun that won’t cost you a penny.

“Join us for the official Christmas lights ‘switch on’ celebration and free Santa’s Grotto on Thursday 24 November, and check out the other fun events happening up and down the High Street.

“It’s been a tough couple of years, and this winter will be a difficult time for many of us.

“But EBID and our local partners have organised these free and fun events so Erdington can celebrate Christmas as a community again.

“We hope to see you all on the High Street.”

For more on the Erdington Business Improvement District and all the Christmas events coming to the High Street visit www.facebook.com/erdingtonBID

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