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14 November 2016, 14:22
Northampton's own Paralympic champion, Ellie Robinson, will be switching on the Christmas lights this Saturday.
Northampton Borough Council say entertainment will start in the Market Square at 2pm with appearances from Ashley and Pudsey, stars of this year's Royal and Derngate pantomime, as well as performers from the Deco's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and the cast of the Royal Theatre's Christmas show, Peter and the Star-catcher.
Heart will be on hand to lead the countdown before Ellie hits the switch to illuminate Northampton's shopping streets at 5pm.
"I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from everyone in Northampton and it is a massive honour to be chosen to turn the Christmas lights on and get this great time of year started."
The switch-on marks the start of five weeks of family-friendly Christmas activities, including a series of craft workshops, the return of the frost fairs, and Father Christmas taking up residence in Market Walk.
Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council's cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: "It's an absolute pleasure to be able to invite Ellie to switch on the Christmas lights, her performance in Rio was inspirational and I can't think of a better way to kick-start our festive celebrations.
"We've got a fantastic line-up of activities for the whole family which will hopefully help everyone get into the Christmas spirit. I know a few people who are particularly excited about the chance to meet Father Christmas right here in Northampton."
Festivities will begin at 2pm on Saturday 19 November, with the switch on taking place in the market square at 5pm.