Christmas in the capital gets off to a spectacular start when The Greatest Christmas Show comes to Douglas on Thursday November 25, which will see a whole host of attractions for all the family happening throughout the town centre from 5.30 to 8.30pm.
The Mayor of Douglas, Raina Chatel, will wish everyone a Merry Christmas via the large outdoor cinema screens set up in the new cultural area and Market Hill just prior to the lights being lit at 7.00pm.
Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2021 Greatest Christmas Show will feature more music, more attractions, more excitement…and not one but two cinemas - one on Market Hill showing The Snowman the other showing The Snowman and the Snowdog in the amphitheatre at the cultural area outside the Sefton Hotel.
Castle Street will be the setting for a ‘snow garden’ while Villiers Square, by kind courtesy of the Tevir Group, will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland with free children’s fairground rides.
Media partner Manx Radio will be based in Howard Street, looking after the stage and broadcasting live, along with choirs performing throughout the evening, and ‘The Man of the Moment’ - Father Christmas – will be found in Granville Street.
Outside the Peter Luis building in Duke Street will be the setting for this year’s ice sculpture, to be carved, as in previous years, by celebrated artists Stephanie Quayle and Darren Jackson and where a professional photographer will be on hand for spectators from 6 to 8pm before ‘meltdown’.
Duke Street will also be the starting point for a lantern parade that will make its way through the event areas.
Douglas Town Band will be playing in Regent Street, and the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk – this year’s Gaiety Theatre pantomime – will be in the town centre during the evening, while other well-known characters will be visiting some of the shops and moving around the event areas, which promises to make for some memorable photo opportunities.
Douglas town centre manager Oliver Cheshire said: ‘Last year’s Greatest Christmas Show was very successful, so this year we’re building on that format by expanding the range of attractions.
‘Once again we’re very grateful to the Tevir Group for making Villiers Square available. Retailers and local businesses have really got behind the event and are already thinking of ways in which they can add some extra sparkle and magic to what we like to term the “official” start of Christmas in the capital.
‘The great thing about this new format is that the attractions aren’t confined to just one, potentially overcrowded, central area. Instead, the entire length and breadth of the main shopping area will be transformed into one big event zone, so no matter where you are on the night, you’ll be assured of a great view of the lights coming on and will feel right at the very heart of all The Greatest Christmas Show action.’
Regeneration and community chairman Stephen Pitts said: ‘Last year everyone pulled out all the stops to create something extra special in the town centre at Christmas and we’ll be continuing that momentum in 2021. After a year of turbulent and challenging trading conditions it’s important that the council, in partnership with local businesses and retailers, does all it can to promote the “shop local” message, attract people to the town centre and offer an event that’s packed full of attractions for all the family. We’re very encouraged by the level of support the event on November 25 has received and have every confidence that The Greatest Christmas Show will more than live up to its name.’
Parking in Douglas Borough Council’s Shaw’s Brow and Bottleneck car parks will be free from 5pm on Thursday November 25 and on every following Thursday from 5pm until Thursday December 23, also every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas. Additionally, the Department of Infrastructure is to reintroduce parking on Douglas promenade walkway.