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St George’s lighting up for Christmas
09 Nov 2016
by Simon Alton

Panto stars from a top Shropshire show will be on hand when the Christmas lights are switched on in an area of Telford.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty at The Place in Oakengates will be taking a break from rehearsals to join the residents of St George’s for the festive lights switch-on on December 2.

This year’s panto runs from December 7 to December 31 and stars Bernie Clifton, a former star of television and the cabaret circuit. Members of the cast will be joining a nominated member of the local community to switch on the lights.

There will be plenty going on to keep the crowds entertained on the day, including live music and entertainment, stalls, children’s rides and a grotto.

The event runs from 3pm to 6.30pm on December 2, with the lights being switched on at 6.30pm.

Councillor Richard Overton, chair of St George’s Partnership, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on last year was a huge success and we are hoping to build on this with more stalls, more support from businesses, local stakeholders like the church and chapel and some more lights from the parish council.

“Christmas is a time of peace to all and to bring the community together at this time is good for community cohesion.

“The businesses in the town centre have really got behind the Christmas lights this year which is fantastic, and we want to say a big thank you to the shops and business in Church Street for opening a little later on the night of the switch-on.

“This year we will be supporting the charity STAY who have a presence in St George’s. The theme is homelessness at Christmas.

“We all know that Christmas is about friends and family and togetherness so it would be great to raise both awareness and funds to support those who have no home or nowhere to go this Christmas.

“Members of the Sleeping Beauty panto cast will be joining us along with a nominated member of the local community to switch on the lights.

“There will be entertainment on the day – full details of that have yet to be finalised but will be released nearer the date.

“We will also be holding a Homeless Awareness night of entertainment at the Bell & Bails on December 17 and would like to thank the Bell & Bails, Stephen Handley Photography and Shropshire Events for their support in helping this evening come to fruition.”

Councillor Overton said there was a lot going on in St George’s at the moment and said thanks must go to Pisces WM and the Pride In Your High Street fund for improving some of the properties in The Square and improving the look of the High Street.

The Pride In Your High Street Fund was created by Telford & Wrekin Council to help breathe life back into the borough’s towns, with money being spent on projects to help businesses and improve facilities.

Pisces WM – Partnership in Social and Community Enterprise in Schools, Skills for Life and Social Care – works with community and voluntary groups to find ways of supporting them.