NORTHWICH will show off its new look with a Christmas party on Friday, November 30.

The Christmas lights switch-on ceremony will take place in the new location of Brunner Court this year, after a festive parade along High Street and Witton Street.

Schoolchildren bearing lanterns, nativity characters and a real donkey will star in the parade, which leaves the Bull Ring at 4.30pm.

They will be led by a samba band and will arrive in the refurbished Brunner Court, by Northwich Library, in time for the Christmas tree lights to be lit by town mayor Clr George Mainwaring at 5pm.

Father Christmas will also be there with his friends from the Rotary Club of Northwich Vale Royal.

A carol service will be held after the ceremony.

Clr Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive member for culture and regeneration, said: “Northwich’s Christmas celebrations promise to be bigger and better than ever this year.

“Following the completion of the first phase of the Witton Street public realm improvements, the transformed Brunner Court is a fitting new home for the town’s Christmas tree and wider festivities.

“I would like to thank local businesses for their patience during the improvement works and urge residents to show their support by ‘shopping local’ this Christmas.

“Businesses will remain throughout the lights switch-on celebrations so people can get their Christmas shopping off to a great start.”

The pupils taking part are from Witton Church Walk, Victoria Road, Sir Charles Darwin and Great Budworth primary schools.

The celebrations have been jointly organised by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Northwich Town Council.

Northwich’s town mayor Clr Mainwaring said: “This will be a community event and a wonderful opportunity where schools and community groups can come together and celebrate the beginning of Christmas, please come and join us on the day. Everyone is welcome.”

• SHOPKEEPERS – do not forget that a Guardian photographer will be in the town centre on Friday afternoon taking pictures of Christmas windows for a competition.

We are running the window dressing competition in conjunction with Northwich Town Council for the second year as part of the Save Our Shops (SOS) campaign.

Last year’s contest, decided by reader votes on our website, was won by The Sweet Shop, in Witton Street.

This year our photographer will be patrolling Witton Street from its junction with Church Road down through High Street to the Bull Ring, as well as Leicester Street and the Weaver Square area, including Witton Walk, Market Street and Market Way, taking pictures of festive window displays.

These pictures will be posted on our website by Wednesday, December 5, and voting will begin on

The deadline for votes will be Wednesday, December 12, and the winner will be announced in the Northwich Guardian on Wednesday, December 19.

The winning trader will receive a framed certificate courtesy of the Guardian and a bottle of something special courtesy of Northwich Town Council.