The free Christmas concert, being filmed and aired live on ITV2, is set to entice families from across Lancashire in to Preston city centre in the run up to the festive season. Taking place on the Flag Market between 5.15pm & 7.45pm on Saturday November 26th, the evening’s climax will be the switching on of Preston’s Christmas lights.
Performers at the event include Mr. Bloom from the popular CBeebies show, Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, the Brit-Award winning voice of M People, Heather Small, million selling soul-group The Real Thing & Dave Finnegan’s Commitments – direct from the Hollywood blockbuster film. Additionally, TV personality JOEY ESSEX has confirmed his attendance.
The Real Thing, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, have committed to performing a soulful set, including their instantly recognisable million-seller You To Me Are Everything.
Dave Finnegan’s Commitments will bring the party to Preston with an energetic performance featuring timeless, feel-good classics, including the international hit Mustang Sally.
Preston’s city centre’s Business Improvement District (BID) is once again staging the event with the region’s largest commercial radio station, Smooth Radio North-West. The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the concert to celebrate its centenary year.
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the NWL Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Christmas Concert and Switch On; it’s something we’ve been involved with for many years. This will be the last major event of our centenary year & it’s our way of saying ‘thank-you’ to the people of Preston; it’s where the Chamber began exactly 100 years ago’.
Commenting, Mark Whittle at Preston BID said: ‘We’re looking forward to kick-starting the city’s Christmas season by hosting this free event. This year we’ve worked closely with the city’s key retailers to put together a different kind of show’.
He continued, ‘Christmas is really important time for the city centre and its businesses. As with recent years, the BID is yet again making a considerable investment towards this season including funding the majority of the city’s Christmas lighting scheme & promoting Preston across the region. Our Christmas events are always popular & we look forward to sharing the start of the season with thousands of visitors.’
On top of the concert, the BID, funded by businesses in the city centre, has organised an extensive regional campaign to promote Preston as a shopping & leisure destination. The campaign will be screened on regional TV & broadcast on a range of radio stations from early November until Christmas.
A giant Christmas tree will be installed on the Flag Market following the Concert. The Harris Museum & surrounding trees will be also be lit, with both elements being jointly funded by the BID & Preston City Council.
A programme of street-theatre performances will also take place on the high street each Saturday from November 26th until December 17th; sponsored by St. George’s and Fishergate Shopping Centres.