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Get set for the big switch-on

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

By Anne Byrne

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The High Street, Princesshay and the Guildhall Shopping Centre will all shine brightly following a prestigious switch-on ceremony in the city centre.

For months it looked as though the High Street would remain dark – but thanks to the Echo, SunGift Solar and the city council this year's display will be as good as ever.

The switch on takes places at 6.30pm on Thursday, November 22. And there will be entertainment and family fun from 2pm to 9pm in the city centre as Exeter's late night shopping season gets underway.

The Echo, which has funded this year's High Street display, will distribute 500 goody bags from our stand at the junction of Bedford Square and High Street.

The bags include a Madagascar sticker book, balloon, jelly beans and a Santa hat and will be distributed from 4.30pm.

Christmas lights switch-on fun starts at the Guildhall Shopping Centre at 2pm when Radio Exe starts to broadcast live from the centre.

At 4.30pm Father Christmas will be arriving at the Guildhall centre to hand out free gifts to children.

In Princesshay the celebrations kick off at 4.30pm with a performance by the Exeter University Jazz Orchestra, and from then on crowds will be treated to an array of singing, dancing and acting from until 9pm.

All the Christmas lights will be switched on at 6.30pm – in the Guildhall centre there will be glitter and snow and Transforma Man will be making an appearance, while in Princesshay the lights will be switched on by celebrity chef, Michael Caines and three members of the Military Wives Choir.

The Guildhall centre promises lots for children to do all evening, including balloon modelling and magic. Local choirs will be singing carols.

Princesshay festivities will continue with performances by the Exeter University Soul Choir, St Luke's Science and Sports College, St Michael's Singers from the Church of England Primary School, Exeter Cathedral School, Exeter Little Theatre Company performing excerpts from Sleeping Beauty, Soundwaves Musical Group, and a piece from Dick Whittington, the pantomime. Before the lights are switched on, there will be interviews with The Military Wives Choir, the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Rob Newby, the two new Faces of Princesshay Lucy Nicholson and Ashley Knight and Mr Caines. There will then be performances by Adam Issac, the finalist in the BBC show, The Voice, along with entertainment by Just for Funk and Morning Rush, who performed at the Olympic Games earlier this year. Presenter for the Princesshay evening will be television and radio's Toby Anstis who is well-known to everyone who grew up watching the Broom Cupboard on Children's BBC in the early 1990s.

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