Let’s get Christmas started

Late night Christmas shopping and lights in Norwich.

Late night Christmas shopping and lights in Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

‘Tis the season to be jolly on our high streets, as sparkling lights are switched on, Christmas shopping begins.


There will be five days of celebrations to mark the start of Christmas in Cromer.

Throughout the week, starting on December 3, a magical Christmas Tree and Nativity Festival will be held St Peter and St Paul Church in the town.

On Saturday December 6, the town will come alive with a Christmas craft market featuring carol singing, stalls and entertainment. Santa will be in his grotto in the Parish Hall all day and festivities will culminate in the switching on of the Christmas lights at 6.45pm by a special celebrity guest.

On Sunday, December 7, a community carol service will be held in the church at 3pm.

Norwich city centre

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Christmas arrives in Norwich on Thursday, November 20 with a host of events and entertainment throughout the city to celebrate the festivities.

There will be plenty of food stalls and family fun and, from 6pm, the Christmas Parade will lead from Norwich Cathedral to The Forum.

The lights will be switched on at 7pm followed by a fireworks display illuminating the city.

Father Christmas will arrive at Jarrold’s London Street store on November 30 following a dragon sleigh ride through the city from the Forum, leaving at 10.45am, to his grotto in the store where he will remain until Christmas Eve.

Norwich Castle Mall

Heart East Anglia will be spreading festive joy at the Castle Mall in Norwich for its Christmas Extravaganza on Thursday, November 13, between 3.30pm and 8pm.

Have a family photograph taken in a giant snow globe or take part in some Christmas craft workshops. Children’s television favourite Mike the Knight is making a special appearances, and Santa and his elves will be opening the grotto for the first time.

All the shops will be open for late night shopping until 9pm – which will continue every Thursday until Christmas – and there will be some special discounts available for one night only.


Swaffham’s Christmas event takes place on Sunday, December 7 and it promises to be a day of fun, food and festivity for all ages. The Great Swaffham Bake Off competition will be open to anyone wishing to show off their creative baking skills, whether cakes, bread or pastries. Children and adults are welcome to enter, with a prize in each category. Once the competition has closed, their baked delights can be sold to the visiting public to raise money for local charities.

The Market Place will be closed to traffic during the day and there will be a street market between 2pm and 7pm selling gifts, food and refreshments. There will also be fairground rides for the children, entertainment and carol singing before the big light switch-on at 4.30pm. At the same time Father Christmas will arrive in his grotto at the Assembly Rooms, ready to meet the children.

Great Yarmouth

The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Marlene Fairhead, will turn on the town’s Christmas lights on Wednesday, November 26, at 7pm with a little bit of help from Heart East Anglia’s Breakfast radio show presenters Dave Taylor and Sarah Cawood.

Entertainment starts at 6pm and includes live music on the Heart East Anglia stage, with plenty of Christmas tunes to get you in the spirit. The event marks the start of late night shopping in the town every Wednesday in December and also the opening of Santa’s Grotto at Market Gates Shopping Centre until Christmas.

Downham Market

Christmas in Downham Market begins on Sunday, November 30, with a Santa Fun Run through the streets, before the lights are switched on at 4.30pm.

Enjoy the many food and drink stalls, craft fair and a visit to Santa’s grotto in the town hall. Choirs from local schools and the Hilgay Silver Band will create a magical festive atmosphere throughout the afternoon.


Hunstanton’s annual Christmas Cracker on Sunday, November 30 is a fun-filled day for the whole family. Promising plenty of festive spirit, there will be a Christmas market, fun and games for the children, street entertainment and the chance to visit Santa. The event starts at 10am and ends at 6pm, culminating in the big switch on of the Christmas lights.


Holt is set to sparkle and glow on November 19, when the annual Christmas lights and firework show transforms the Georgian town into a wintery wonderland.

Norwich-born TV presenter Jake Humphrey will switch on the lights to raise awareness of the charity BREAK, of which he is patron. “For the first time I’ll be there with my little daughter, Florence, and I can’t wait for her to see the fireworks,” he says.

Between 5.30pm and 8pm on the stage and around the town’s yards and lanes, there will be entertainment for children, including a visit from Mother Chrismas and the long-legged Gentleman Jim, plus food stalls offering festive fare.

There will also be a fairground merry-go-round offering free rides and face painting for the children.

King’s Lynn

The start of Christmas in King’s Lynn will be marked by the switching on of the lights in the Tuesday Market Place by a special guest. The event on November 20, at 6.45pm, marks the start of late night shopping in the town, with shops open until 8pm every Thursday in the run up to Christmas. There will also be entertainment, stalls and plenty of surprises to mark the occasion.

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