Talented musicians, singers and dancers from Croydon and across the country, will be performing in North End from mid-day onwards, helping to get visitors into the party mood at the event which marks the official start of Croydon’s festive season.
Top TV entertainer and gameshow host, Stephen Mulhern will be headlining the event, switching on the lights, alongside Lisa Davina Phillip and Joanna Sawyer, his co-stars in this year’s Fairfield Halls pantomime, Cinderella.
Acts billed to perform throughout the afternoon include local singer-songwriter and recent ‘X Factor’ contender, Sophie Plumb, ‘The Voice’ Series 4 live finalist, Howard Rose and Tyber Cranstoun, fabulous frontman to the widely acclaimed Dualers ska and reggae band.
BRIT school favourites, Khronos, the all-male youth dance company, will also be making a welcome return, delivering what is likely to be yet another show-stopping series of routines in a special performance area outside Marks & Spencer.
Other acts confirmed so far include rap artist Lucan Mills, musician and songwriter Susie B, alternative rock and southern-fried blues band The Midnight Rambler, Croydon Popchoir, three piece alternative folk band, Penny Fathers, Croydon-based jazz/soul outfit, Da Groove Station and the Croydon Salvation Army Band. Roaming stilt walkers will also be mingling with the crowds throughout the afternoon, posing for photographs and helping to spread some festive cheer.
At 6pm, just prior to the switch-on countdown, there will be some extra special visitors to the event, in the form of Santa and his Elves who are taking time out of their busy Christmas schedule to say hello, prior to appearing in Santa Claus and the Night Before Christmas at the Fairfield Halls from December 5th-24th.
The excitement will really start to build from around 6.15pm, when the three panto stars take to the stage to entertain the crowds before being joined for the official switch-on ceremony by Croydon’s Mayor, Councillor Patricia Hayes-Justice.
Building on the success and popularity of last year’s event, the lights switch-on will once again culminate in a spectacular roof top pyrotechnics finale, thanks to generous support from the Whitgift and Centrale Shopping Centres.
Additional activity will be taking place during the course of the day in both Centrale and Whitgift Shopping Centres. The Crystal Palace Football Club’s 1st team will be signing autographs and posing for photos in Whitgift Square from 4pm, while children’s favourites Peppa Pig and George will be making guest appearances at Centrale, helping to switch on Centrale’s Christmas lights at 5pm and story time at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5.45pm.
“This is undoubtedly our biggest and most spectacular event to date with a bumper programme of great, all-round activity lined up, thanks to generous sponsorship from Gatwick Airport,” said Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims.
“The programme is expanding all the time as more and more acts express an interest in taking part in the schedule and we hope as many people as possible will be able to join us for what we fully expect to be a truly memorable occasion.”