It is a golden year for Ripon’s big Christmas lights switch on, with the city’s very own Olympic hero Jack Laugher set to push the button on Saturday, November 26.
A bumper crowd is expected for the big moment, to show support for Jack’s success in Rio and to get into the festive spirit.
City Development Manager Alan Weston, said: “We know that there was a great deal of support for Jack in the summer. We’re delighted that he’s able to be our special guest and switch on the Christmas lights in his home city and that the public will get an opportunity to show how proud they are.
“The lights switch on is important because there is a community pride aspect, then is the fact that it is such a good event for the community to come together, to begin the festive period.
"It brings a significant amount of trade and retail to Ripon at this time of the year, and it also brings people into the community for what will be a day of festive family fun, and it will be something that hopefully everyone will enjoy.
“Over the last four years we have seen more and more people at the Christmas lights switch on event and hopefully this will continue this year.”
Saturday’s switch on event kicks off at 4pm at Ripon Market Place with entertainment from local dance sensation Kaymia, followed by performances from the Ripon Rolling Tones and Greystone Primary school choir, before Jack Laugher takes to the stage at 6pm with the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Adrian Morgan, Mr and Mrs Claus, and the Greystone school elves to switch on the lights.
Elsewhere on the Market Place will be Transdev’s golden ‘36’ bus which was named after Jack Laugher. Aldi, whose new store opens on Thursday, will also be distributing special selfie frames, encouraging people to post their pictures to Facebook with the hashtag #riponsgoldenchristmas.
Following on from Saturday’s festivities, Ripon’s second Christmas Market will take place on December 3 on Kirkgate between 9:30am and 4pm.