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Wythenshawe will be filled with festive cheer when Christmas comes to town next week.

The annual Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Saturday 3rd December at 5pm. Hosted by Darren Proctor from Manchester’s Key 103 FM team, the switch-on will also include guest appearances throughout the day from Graeme Hawley, aka Coronation Street bad-boy John Stape and children’s favourite Peppa Pig.

A full programme of festive entertainment has been scheduled for the run up to Christmas including the opening of Santa’s log cabin, children’s rides and entertainment, face painting, a brass band and organised displays of snow-dogs and majestic owls.

Children of all ages will be able to visit Santa every Friday and Saturday during December and on Sunday 11th December. Santa will then be in residence every day from Friday 16th December (9am- 5pm) until Christmas Eve.

Wythenshawe will also celebrate a festive-first this year with the arrival of a 12 carriage big wheel on Monday 5th December. Located on The Birtles, the 50ft wheel will offer lofty views over the town and is set to make more than 1,100 rotations during its month-long visit.

The festive programme has been organised by town centre owner and regeneration specialist St. Modwen.

Lee Paddock, Wythenshawe’s town centre manager said: “The lights switch on always pulls big crowds and we’re hoping this year will be no exception.

“We’ve also got a wide selection of food on offer including a hog roast and chestnut stall. It promises to be a great event and a very memorable Christmas.

“We’re also delighted that we’ve been able to bring a big wheel to the town centre for the first time from 5th Dec and we expect it to be hugely popular with all age groups.“