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Shrewsbury’s festive season is set to start with a bang later this month as organisers plan a cracker of an event.

Destination Shrewsbury have promised an evening of fun-filled entertainment for all the family to mark the launch of the town’s new Christmas lights and the first late night shopping evening.

The event, aptly named Shrewsbury’s Christmas Cracker, is being held on November 23 from 5pm until 8pm. Parking in Shropshire Council car parks is free from 4pm (excludes Raven Meadows & The Strand).

The event is being led by Destination Shrewsbury, a partnership organisation with responsibility for promoting business and tourism in the town, and is sponsored by Darwin Matthews Solicitors.

A packed programme of entertainment is being planned which includes performances by some of Shropshire’s top brass bands, adult and school choirs and Shrewsbury Hand Bells in locations around the town including; The Square, Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres and the Market Hall, which will be hosting its own Christmas Shopping Showcase from 4pm until 7pm.

Members of the public can also enjoy an array of street entertainment on Pride Hill, including dance performances and a very special appearance by the Cartoon Festival’s ‘Barry the Shrew’ and stars of Theatre Severn’s panto, Aladdin. Severn Radio will also be in attendance, mingling with the crowds and broadcasting live from the event.

And the fun doesn’t stop there, also lined up is a ‘top secret’ performance at 6pm, followed by the Rotary Tree of Light switch-on at 7pm in the Darwin Centre and the launch of Shop in the Loops Shrewsbury Shrews Competition.

At The Wheatsheaf, festive traditionalists can indulge in a glass of eggnog while enjoying the sounds of Victorian inspired singers.

Families can also take part in a lantern parade through the town centre, led by the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Tony Durnell, and the Town Crier, Martin Wood, at 5.45pm.

There will be a lantern-making workshop held the week before the event, on November 19 in the Riverside Shopping Centre from 11am until 4pm. Further details to be released.

John Hall, from Shop in the Loop and Destination Shrewsbury, said everyone involved in the event had worked hard to deliver a packed schedule of entertainment for all the family.

“There really is something to keep all ages entertained,” he said.

“Everyone has worked hard on pulling together a packed programme of entertainment. Special thanks must go to the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres who have provided performance spaces, and a unit for the lantern workshop, and indeed to all our partners for working together to bring about this wonderful event.

“Don’t forget, as well as entertainment throughout the evening shops will also be open late and there is free parking in the town centre from 4pm.”

For more information about the event email

For lantern workshop enquiries call 07813 026367 or email