Manchester’s festive celebrations will get into full swing in just a month’s time with the big Christmas Lights switch-on event.

The free city centre event, with a packed evening of live entertainment culminating in the lights switch on and firework display, will take place on Saturday November 3rd.

DJ Jonas Blue and Manchester singing star Max George will join a host of stars of stage and screen as Albert Square becomes the setting for what is being billed as “the biggest show in the city” from 7.30pm.

And council bosses are promising it will be a special occasion in Albert Square – as it could be the last year “for some time” that it will be the setting for the Christmas Markets due to the ongoing revamp of the town hall.

Manchester Christmas Lights big switch-on event - date and star acts confirmed I Love Manchester
Pic Mark Waugh

Following ‎a succession of huge global hits including the summer smash hit Rise, Jonas Blue will perform in Albert Square and will take on the prestigious role of pushing the button to turn on Manchester’s Christmas Lights and begin a spectacular 10-minute firework display.

Manchester-born singer Max George, who is forging his solo career following the break-up of his chart-topping band The Wanted, will take to the stage in front of an adoring homecoming crowd, having returned to music following forays into both the modelling and acting worlds – including a hit role in the US smash show, Glee.

Manchester Christmas Lights big switch-on event - date and star acts confirmed I Love Manchester

The stars of Manchester’s major Christmas stage shows will also grace the stage, with The Witches of Oz bringing a decidedly green shade to the festive proceedings as the stars of the Palace Theatre’s hit show Wicked sprinkle their magic dust across Albert Square.

Stars of The Lowry’s production of Dr Dolittle the Musical, Mark Williams and Corrie favourite Vicky Entwistle will perform, as will the cast of Mel Brooks comedy The Producers which is at the Royal Exchange this Christmas.

Opening the show, Manchester Show Choir will bring a touch of the traditional to the  occasion, followed by the blistering moves of The Dance Academy.

Manchester Christmas Lights big switch-on event - date and star acts confirmed I Love Manchester
Manchester Christmas light switch on 2017 in Albert Square. (Pic: Mark Waugh)

The event is open to all but be warned – the show is an alcohol-free event. And once Albert Square reaches capacity, access into the area will be restricted.

A number of road closures will be in place on the evening. Full details will be released nearer the time.

The Manchester Christmas Lights switch-on is a partnership between Manchester city council and Hits Radio.

Cllr Pat Karney, the council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “This will be a party to remember, opening the festive season to six weeks of Christmas celebration as the city transforms into the capital of Christmas once again.

“We are also already looking forward to next year when we will be moving the switch-on event to a new location – so watch this space!”

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