Warwick’s Christmas celebrations will be kicking off tonight (Thursday).
Tonight’s popular Victorian Evening marks the start of the festive events in the town.
This year’s Victorian Evening will include Santa’s Grotto, late night shopping, policemen on stilts, fire spinners, a Victorian market, a traditional carousel and carol singing.
There will also be a full programme of events taking place on the stage from 5pm to 9pm, which is being managed by Touch FM in Market Place.
The stage acts which include performances by students from Stagecoach Performing Arts as well as performances from Matt Bate, Hannah Clare Dance, St Mary’s Choir, Me, and The Spa Centre Panto with Sleeping Beauty.
The Christmas lights will be switched on by Father Christmas and the Mayor of Warwick Stephen Cross at 7pm.
Victorian Evening also marks the start of the Christmas Tree Festival.
St Mary’s Church will be hosting the annual Christmas Tree Festival, which will see groups, organisations and charities decorating Christmas trees.
The festival kicks off at 5pm tonight and will run until December 10 and visitors can vote for their favourite tree.
Admission on Victorian Evening is 50p per adult and free for children and after November 30 admission for adults costs £1.
There will also be hand bell ringing, mulled wine, mince pies, craft stalls and a short carol service on the night.
Helen Williamson, business support and events officer for Warwick District Council said: “Our Victorian Christmas is a firm favourite in the town; it’s always a busy event with a great atmosphere so please arrive in plenty of time.”
Visitors are encouraged to get into the nineteenth century spirit with the annual competition for the best dressed Victorian with the winners in both the adult and child categories being announced on stage at 7.30pm.
If you are struggling for costumes both The Harlequin in Warwick or Aladdin’s Cave in Leamington have a large selection to choose from.
There will also be free parking from 4pm today in Warwick District Council’s off-street car parks including Linen Street, New Street and St Nicholas Park all of which will be open late.
The on-street parking will still be charged.
For the evening the follow roads will be closed from 11.30am until midnight.
Here is the full programme of events for the Touch FM stage according to the website EnjoyWarwick.
The stage programme:
5.00pm – Opening
5.15pm – Stagecoach
5.30pm – Matt Bate
6.10pm – Xmas Music
6.20pm – Hannah Clare Dance
6.50pm – Countdown to Lights On
7.00pm – Xmas Music
7.10pm – St. Mary’s Choir
7.30pm – Judging of Best Dressed Victorian Outfit
7.40pm – Me, Him & the Others
8.10pm – Spa Centre Panto - Sleeping Beauty
8.20pm – Chasing Deer
9.00pm – Finish