Rochdale's festive countdown kicks off this weekend, when the town hall stages a Christmas Market followed by the lights-switch on and fireworks on Saturday, 25 November 2017.
The market opens at 1pm in the magnificent setting of the Great Hall with stalls selling Christmas gifts, cards, children's clothes and toys, tasty treats, jewellery and more. Most stallholders come from the borough and many products are handmade. Seasonal food and drink will be served in the 'Christmas Cafe' with performances by Rochdale Music Service and later in the afternoon, Wardle Community Brass Band will play yuletide favourites.
'Frozen characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf will help Father Christmas and The Mayor switch-on the lights'
Outside the town hall from 1pm there will be a tempting array of food and drink, including mulled wine, hot chocolates and speciality coffees plus snacks ranging from waffles and pancakes to Naan sandwiches, savoury cheese french toast, fish and chips, hot mince pies and Fusion Quesadillas.
The town hall will be bathed in colourful lights as darkness falls and there will also be Christmas storytelling and craft sessions for children.
Frozen characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf will help Father Christmas and The Mayor officially switch-on the lights. The children's favourites arrive at 4pm to meet and greet families ahead of the big switch on, which will be followed by a family firework display.
Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture, said:
"This event is different each year so even if you've been before there are plenty of new and exciting things to discover, inside and out. The town hall will look magical and there will be something for everyone. Also, when you shop at Rochdale Christmas Market, you are also supporting some of our wonderful small businesses."