The skies above Richmond will light up at this years Christmas lights switch on, as for the first time the event will finish with a fireworks display.

IT promises to be action-packed day of events on November 22. Activities are designed to showcase the whole town and involve all parts of the residential and working community.

Festivities begin just before lunchtime at the riverside with a Frost Fair Christmas Market selling locally-made and sustainably sourced crafts, gifts and food.

The always-popular Santa’s Grotto will be held the garden of the Vineyard Community Centre, from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Visits cost £2.50 which includes a gift, face painting and other festive activities. All proceeds go towards helping the homeless.

Led by festive minstrels, children from St Richard’s School and the Old Vicarage School will parade from the Bingham hotel to George Street via Richmond Riverside singing seasonal songs and picking up a marching band along the way.

The main stage for the lights switch on will be situated in George Street (close to Tesco Metro and Russell & Bromley) and between 5:00 pm and 6.30pm the area will be a hive of festive activity with music, a fire performer, jugglers, stilt walkers, elves, costume characters, panto characters from Peter Pan at Richmond Theatre, choirs and much more.

The Mayor of the Borough, Councillor Ben Khosa, will attend the ceremony and lights will be switched on at around 6.15pm. This year, the Christmas lights will have much wider coverage throughout the town, with a special display feature at the station.

The event will close with a spectacular firework display on Richmond Green at around 6.30pm. For more information visit