PREVIEW: Panto star lined up as VIP guest for Diss Christmas Lights Switch-On

Diss, Norfolk. Diss' Christmas Lights Switch on in the Market Place - Santa arriving along Mere Street ANL-141130-210534009
Diss, Norfolk. Diss' Christmas Lights Switch on in the Market Place - Santa arriving along Mere Street ANL-141130-210534009

A Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime star will help to illuminate the streets of Diss under festive colours when the town centre stages its annual Christmas Lights switch-on next month.

Ben Langley, an established comic and performer who appears as Muddles in this year’s Snow White panto, is the town’s VIP guest of honour on Saturday, November 28, which will see Diss kick off the season of giving with events spread across the historic Heritage Triangle area.

The switch-on itself is at 6pm, following an afternoon of festivities in Market Place starting at 3pm, including a busy Performance Stage hosted by regular MC’s Park Radio.

Mike Bardwell, deputy town mayor, told the Diss Express: “I’m very much looking forward to it. It always seems to draw lots of people, and we want people to make a day of it.

“Our aim is to get more footfall into the town. It all relates to the Heritage Triangle project. It’s all to try and bring people in and see what we have to offer.”

On the stage itself, independent acts such as Twisted Piglet, The Mallie Band, Felix Simpson and Mode will mix in throughout the afternoon amidst local groups like the Diss Junior School Choir.

The St Nicholas Christmas Fayre also takes place between 11am and 6pm, and again has lined up strong backing from the Heritage Traders.

The market is set to be filled with seasonal food and drink, while attractions extend down to the Mere’s Mouth, with fairground rides and entertainers like Santa Claus and the well-known local mascot Dinsdale, of Mere Quacks fame.

Meanwhile, in St Nicholas Street, Cobbs Yard and Norfolk House Yard, shops and cafés will be providing special offers, while local and artisan suppliers will show off a wide range of gifts, all alongside Christmas carols and music.

South Norfolk Council has also confirmed its free car parking scheme would run again this year on the day of the switch-on and the subsequent three Saturdays leading up to Christmas Day.

For further details or to learn about booking a market stall, please contact Diss Town Council via 01379 643848 or go to www.disscouncil.com