18/11/2011 - Permalink

Christmas event set to be a real Cracker

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Shrewsbury’s festive season is set to start with a bang this week as organisers plan a cracker of an event.

Destination Shrewsbury have promised an evening of fun-filled entertainment for all the family to mark the launch of the town’s new Christmas lights and the first late night shopping evening.

The event, aptly named Shrewsbury’s Christmas Cracker, is being held on Wednesday 23 November 2011 from 5pm until 8pm.  Parking in Shropshire Council car parks, and the Park and Ride service, are free from 4pm.  Passengers using the Park and Ride after 4pm will be able to travel for free from all three sites (Harlescott, Meole Brace and Oxon).  The following council-owned car parks will also be free from 4pm:

  • The Tannery
  • St Austin’s
  • Frankwell (Main, Riverside and Quay)
  • Bridge Street 
  • Abbey Foregate
  • St Julian’s
    Plus Barker Street car park, owned by Morris Properties.
     (excludes Raven Meadows & The Strand)

The event is being led by Destination Shrewsbury, a partnership organisation which includes Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, Shrewsbury Business Chamber and Tourism Association, and Shop in the Loop.  Destination Shrewsbury has responsibility for promoting business and tourism in the town, and is sponsored by Darwin Matthews Solicitors.

A packed programme of entertainment is being planned which includes performances by some of Shropshire’s top brass bands, adult and school choirs and Shrewsbury Hand Bells in locations around the town including The Square; Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres; and the Market Hall, which will be hosting its own Christmas shopping showcase from 4pm until 7pm.

Members of the public can also enjoy an array of other entertainment, including dance performances and a very special appearance by the Cartoon Festival’s ‘Barry the Shrew’ and stars of Theatre Severn’s panto, Aladdin.

Severn Radio will also be in attendance, mingling with the crowds and broadcasting live from the event.

And the fun doesn’t stop there; also lined up is a ‘top secret’ performance at 6pm, followed by the Rotary Tree of Light switch-on at 7pm in the Darwin Centre, and the launch of Shop in the Loop’s Shrewsbury Shrews Competition.

At The Wheatsheaf, festive traditionalists can indulge in a glass of eggnog while enjoying the sounds of Victorian-inspired singers.

John Hall, from Shop in the Loop and Destination Shrewsbury, said everyone involved in the event had worked hard to deliver a packed schedule of entertainment for all the family:

“There really is something to keep all ages entertained.  Everyone has worked hard on pulling together a packed programme of entertainment.  Special thanks must go to the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres who have provided performance spaces, and a unit for the lantern workshop, and indeed to all our partners for working together to bring about this wonderful event.

“Don’t forget, as well as entertainment throughout the evening shops will also be open late and there is free parking in the town centre from 4pm.”

Families can also take part in a lantern parade through the town centre, led by the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Tony Durnell, and the Town Crier, Martin Wood, at 5.45pm.

Councillor Mike Owen, Cabinet Member for Tourism said,

“These fantastic Christmas events are a great way to start the festive season and raise the community spirit. We hope lots of people come along this Wednesday, and join in the magical festivities at the launch of Shrewsbury’s late night shopping.”

Councillor Andrew Bannerman, Local Member for Quarry and Cotton Hill said,

“This is a variation on the old Switch On – and all the better for that – lots of entertainment for all age groups in different parts of the town centre.  It should be a cracking start to the Christmas season in Shrewsbury.”

For more information about the event email info-shrewsburytowncouncil@shropshire.gov.uk