Leicester events signal countdown to Christmas

By Muhsin Cabdi

Christmas parties and activities are taking place in Leicester for adults and children.

The events are funded by Leicester City Council and will feature several returning events as well as many new ones.

Last Thursday, November 22, the countdown to Christmas began with the city officially switching on its Christmas Lights.

The event was celebrated with a programme including a stage performance on Humberstone Gate by Studio 79 and a song from Peter Pan star Sam Bailey.

This was followed by the countdown to the switch-on presented by ITV Central presenter Matt Teale.

Madeleine Redway, the press officer for Leicester City Council, said: “We had a major program with live music and dancing on Humberstone Gate and it was hosted by Matt Teale who is one of the presenters of ITV News Central.

“So ITV News were broadcasting the switch-on live on their program that evening.”

The end of the event signalled both the switching on of Leicester’s Christmas Lights as well as the events that will be taking place up until Christmas.

Madeleine also said: “We have the switch-on event, all the lights go on and that signals the countdown to Christmas really when the lights go on.

“It was the first that we have teamed up with a broadcaster so that we could share it across the region.”

This year, some of the events were funded by independent businesses situated in Leicester, rather than by the budget prescribed by the City Council.

Madeleine said: “Our budgets are getting severely cut every so we did get some sponsorship in from a few local companies.

“We had Octopus Energy, a local sustainable energy provider.

“And then we had PPL PRS, a music licensing company; they sponsored the Christmas tree.

“It’s nice of the private sector to get involved. Hopefully we’ll have more on board next year.”

Other events taking place in Leicester during this time include the Jubilee Square ice rink, which had been popular event when it first took place last year, so the city council decided to set up an even larger rink for people who want to go skating.

The ice rink will open on December 6 and will close on January 6.

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