Excitement is building for Ripon’s packed programme of Christmas events, and on Saturday crowds will fill the Market Square to watch the lights being switched on.
This year’s event starts at 4pm and finishes at 6pm, with performances from the Dishforth Military Wives Choir, the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Pipe Band, and Ripon singer Lily Worth.
Lily has been busy filming Ripon community groups and businesses singing lines from Wizzard’s I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday for a city-wide Christmas song, and on Saturday she will invite crowds to take part.
Pushing the button to light up Ripon will be the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Pauline McHardy, joined on stage by Father Christmas.
A huge number of Christmas events have been organised for Ripon this year, with many highly-anticipated new ones.
Tonight, Thursday, many shops and businesses will be open late until 8pm for present shopping - something that will continue on Thursdays throughout December, and on Saturday Ripon Cathedral hosts its brilliant Christmas Gift and Food Fair from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Allhallowgate Methodist Church has launched a Follow the Star festival, where residents can come and enjoy a changing display of nativity sets from around the world from December 1-3.
Decorated shooting stars to promote the festival will be placed all around the city.
The very first Ripon canal basin Christmas market will be held on December 3, 3pm to 7pm as part of an exciting movement to regenerate the area, and the Market Square Christmas market is on December 2, 10am to 4pm.
Another first for this year is Blow Your Horn Ripon’s Christmas Fairytale Hunt. Every Saturday in December until Christmas, nine fairytale characters will be hiding in participating businesses.
Anyone who finds them will be given an instant prize. The list of participating businesses is on the Blow Your Horn Ripon Facebook page.
City residents will have plenty of concerts and shows to go to - including the brilliant carol service at Holy Trinity Church on December 4 at 1.30pm.
A choir of 200 children made up of schools from across Ripon and the district will wow crowds with their talent.
Multi-award winning Emmerdale actor John Middleton will narrate Ripon Cathedral’s production of The Story of Christmas with Carols on December 2 at 7.30pm, and the brilliant Ripon Choral Society’s Ripon Cathedral Christmas concert is on December 9 at 7.30pm.
St Wilfrid’s Church will host its first Christmas tree festival from December 8-10, and the Ripon Rolling Tones choir is having an evening of carols on December 14 at the Golden Lion at 7.30pm. All proceeds will be donated to Ripon food bank.
These are just some of the fantastic Christmas events this year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share more.