Around 15,000 people are expected when St Albans switches on its Christmas lights.

There will be a street party in the city centre from noon until 6pm on Sunday, with St Peter’s Street closed to traffic.

Among the attractions will be live music, a Santa’s grotto, scores of market stalls, a winter wonderland bar, funfair rides and street performers.

Most of the family-friendly entertainment will be free, with something to suit people of all ages.

The climax of the event, organised by St Albans City and District Council, will be the switching on of the lights at around 5pm.

This will take place at two locations so that as many people as possible can get close to the action.

Stars of the Alban Arena pantomime Cinderella, including local comedian Bob Golding, will switch on the lights at the main stage in St Peter’s Street.

St Albans mayor Cllr Rosemary Farmer will switch them on at the Clock Tower to the accompaniment of festive tunes from local musician Minnie Birch.

There will also be live music at the Taxi Rank Stage opposite the Beech House, with acts including Swanvesta Social Club, Mamas with Voices, Ellie McCann and Cristina Federici as well as singalongs with Christmas choirs.

More than 100 stalls will sell a vast range of novelty gifts, seasonal produce and street food.

People will also be able to buy mulled wine, luxury chocolate drinks and festive cocktails at the Poppycock Winter Wonderland Bar.

Children can enjoy circus workshops, street performers and musical entertainment at Clock Tower Corner.

There will also be Children’s Christmas Crafts, a free activity that allows children to use glitter, sparkles and other material to make exciting decorations and gifts.

And there will also be the Meraki Christmas Forest: a snow-covered woodland will showcase what is due to be held at Meraki Christmas Festival, including an ice bar.

Councillor Salih Gaygusuz, who is responsible for business and the community, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is a terrific way for people to get the festive season underway. It generates a cracking atmosphere and I urge everyone to get along and not miss out.

“The event also helps boost the local economy bringing thousands of extra visitors as well as showcasing the city centre shops and the local produce on sale at the market stalls.”

St Albans Business Improvement District has largely funded the lights including those that run from the town hall to the Cock pub. It also financed new infrastructure to provide power. A not-for-profit organisation funded by local businesses, the BID seeks to improve the City Centre.

Cinderella opens at the Alban Arena on Thursday, December 6 and runs until Sunday, January 6. For more details, see