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A Blue Christmas for town’s festive lights switch-on!

Posted onPosted on 4th Oct

Former boyband star Simon Webbe is to headline the stage show at the The Big Switch On when Mansfield town centre’s Christmas lights are launched.

Simon, who is best known as a member of Blue, which sold more than 15 million records, will also push the button to turn on the lights.

After Blue — famous for hits like All Rise, If You Come Back, Too Close, Guilty, and Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word — parted ways in 2005, Webbe released three solo albums, Sanctuary, Grace, and Smile, and had five UK Top 40 singles.

Now, more than 20 years after Blue’s major success, Simon will star in the town’s Market Place festive extravaganza on Sunday, 26th November.

He will be the headline act for The Big Switch On stage show, hosted by Mansfield 103.2, from 3pm to 5pm, which also features sounds from Michael Bublé tribute act Luke Hingley and female vocalist Ellie Butler as well as crowd karaoke with Jono Edwards, Miss Margo, and DJ Lucas Starnes.

The free stage show will be hosted by Mansfield 103.2’s Ian Watkins and John B Tannen.

There will be entertainment around the town centre all day, including festive food, giveaways, Christmas crafts, and roaming music from comedy string quartet Graffiti Classics.

Mansfield District Council is staging the Switch On with event partners Mansfield BID, Canvas, Mansfield 103.2, and Four Seasons Shopping Centre.

Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Building on the success of last year’s festive event, the council is bringing Christmas to Mansfield residents with a showstopper of free activities, stage show entertainment, and festive fun for all the family to enjoy.

“We are excited to have top-selling boyband member Simon Webbe as part of our festive celebration line-up, and we hope to see the Market Place brimming with happy faces and enjoying a nostalgic singalong.”

Mansfield BID will manage the family fun on West Gate, including rides, food stalls, face painting, hot drinks and mulled wine, music from the Moonshiners, and festive craft activities. This will begin at 12noon before the main stage show in the Market Place at 3pm.

Chief executive Jay Rowlinson added: “We are thrilled to announce the stage show lineup and also give residents and businesses an insight into some of the free activities they can expect to see throughout the town centre on the day.

“Working in partnership on large-scale events such as this for the community and businesses reaps benefits for everyone involved. Events are one of the biggest catalysts for driving more people back into their town centre.

“During the festive period, businesses will benefit from additional footfall coming from such events at a time when shopping local is essential to our retailers.”

There will also be festive activities in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, which opens at 10am, alongside meet and greets with Santa in his grotto.

A disabled viewing area for wheelchair users will be available at the front of the main stage. No booking is required for the space this year, but it will be available on a first-come, first-served basis as space is very limited.