A handful of unsung heroes will take centre stage on Saturday (16 November) when the Christmas Lights in Stafford are turned on.
They will include a community matron, litter picker, volunteer medic, and community fundraiser.
Live music, fireworks and a Christmas disco are all on a packed agenda for the big switch on show this week.
The event is a collaboration between Freedom Leisure, Stafford Borough Council and the Guildhall Shopping Centre and attracts around 10,000 people into the heart of the county town each year.
‘Angel of Stafford,’ Suzanne Rigby, is among those asked to perform the switch on honour. Suzanne was given the ‘angel’ moniker by the street homeless who she helps around the clock. She has made headlines across newspapers, radio and television for the selfless work she does.
Laura Garbett from St John Ambulance, Becki Woolrich who founded the Stafford Litter Heroes and young Imani Al-Khaldi who started a community fridge project will be joining Suzanne to light up the Stafford skyline along with Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Gareth Jones and, of course, Father Christmas.
Throughout the day fairground rides line the town centre streets with the popular Makers Market also taking place. The afternoon gets underway from around 2pm with street theatre and a Christmas disco before the day becomes a tribute to the 90s with a live musical show from the nine-piece ‘Dance Party Project’ band in the Market Square.
The lights will be turned on at 5pm, triggering the launch of thousands of fireworks from the top of the Guildhall Shopping Centre, before the band come back on stage to do another 45-minute set.
Stafford has become well-known for inviting local heroes to perform the switch on honour over the last decade – including Rio Olympic gold medal winning canoeist Joe Clarke in 2016, the late Don Gray, survivor of the treacherous World War ll ‘Arctic Convoys’ in 2014, and members of the armed forces based in the town.
Ivan Horsfall Turner, Managing Director Freedom Leisure, said “The Stafford Christmas Light switch-on is a highlight in the local Calendar, and as leisure and cultural partner to Stafford Borough Council, Freedom Leisure prides itself on supporting local residents and visitors to Stafford to enjoy their leisure time. This year’s event promises to be as spectacular as ever!”
Press Release 5575