Pic Mark Waugh

You know the countdown to Christmas has begun when the Manchester Christmas lights are switched on. It means the festive season has started, with six weeks of celebrations to look forward to as the city is transformed into the capital of Christmas once again.

Albert Square will be the setting for this year’s big Christmas Lights Switch-on on Saturday, 3rd November when stars of stage and screen will be out in force for the big event.

The Christmas Lights will be switched on by Jonas Blue, who is making a name for himself across the globe with hit records including Fast Car, Perfect Strangers, By Your Side, Mamma, Rise and a host of producer and remix credits to his name.

Manchester's spectacular Christmas Lights Switch-on details confirmed I Love Manchester

Also performing will be Manchester-born singer Max George who is returning to music following the breakup of his chart topping band The Wanted and forays into both the modelling and acting worlds, including a hit role in the US smash show, Glee.

The stars of Manchester’s major stage shows will also grace the stage to perform excerpts from the best theatre the region has to offer.

The Witches of Oz will bring 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.

The Lowry’s production of Dr Dolittle the Musical brings together two of the UK’s favourite actors as Mark Williams (Harry Potter/Fast Show) takes on the role of the animal talk doc, and will be joined by Corrie favourite, Vicky Entwistle.

Manchester's spectacular Christmas Lights Switch-on details confirmed I Love Manchester

And the cast of the much loved Mel Brooks comedy, The Producers (Royal Exchange), will bring their madcap energy to the show.

The show will be followed by a spectacular 10-minute fire work display.

This could be the last time for a while that the event takes place in Albert Square and organisers Manchester City Council and Hits Radio are promising a party to remember.

The Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on takes place on Saturday, 3rd November 2018.

The event is free to attend and an alcohol-free event. 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 to be released. You are advised not to bring bags to the event as there will be security checks in operation and bags will delay admission.

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