A 40ft Christmas tree with 3,000 lights will be unveiled in Crawley town centre.
People have been invited to the launch of the town’s seasonal festivies in County Mall on Saturday (November 21).
A borough council spokesman said children can pick up a gift after a free Santa’s Grotto opens at the mall at noon.
The County Mall Father Christmas will lead a community lantern parade with a live band from Memorial Gardens to Queens Square at 4.30pm.
The 40ft tree with 3,000 LED lights will be unveiled in the centre of the square and street theatre, live music and local choirs will perform that afternoon.
The launch will see Father Christmas with his band of elves, Christmas music and magical stilt-walking characters welcomed to the shopping centre. A family will win £1,000 worth of gifts as part of the mall’s #MakeItMemorable competition on the day.
Queens Square will host weekly Christmas events every weekend until The Mayor of Crawley’s big carol sing at the bandstand on Sunday December 20.
County Mall Centre Manager, Mark Haynes, said: “We’re very excited for a busy Christmas period at the mall and looking forward to an exciting launch day on Saturday.
“We’re also delighted to be able to offer our FREE magical grotto once again in the lead up to Christmas.
“To visit, customers just have to sign up on our website and show their free grotto pass on arrival. We hope customers have an enjoyable visit at the centre over the festive season and look forward to welcoming you on Saturday.”
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “We’ve programmed a wide range of events in the run-up to Christmas so there is something for everyone.
“Come into the town centre, pick up some presents and get into the festive spirit with our exciting line-up of Christmas carols, dance and entertainment.”
Live entertainment including a festive, cabaret juggling show, performances from Mojo Cookie playing live music from the 70s through to the noughties, dance from the SA Academy and carols and Christmas songs from Milton Mount Choir will run in the square from noon to 4pm on Saturday November 28.
Comedy street performance, variety show featuring spinning Christmas puddings, a festive soundtrack and amazing variety stunts and the breakdancing Bad Santas walkabout show. There’s also live music from Lingfield Silver Band, singing from Stagecoach Choir and dance from local group Fi-Steps, during the same times on Saturday December 5.
People were invited to enjoy foodie fun from the mobile, musical Christmas kitchen, find out who’s been naughty or nice this year with the elves’ ‘Goodometer’, live music from local funk and soul band The Blunter Brothers, Hazelwick School Orchestra and dance performances from SA Academy on the Saturday after.
The Mayor’s big carol sing at The Bandstand will start at 3pm on December 20.
A council spokesman said: “Everyone’s welcome to come along and join in singing carols with music provided by the Crawley Millennium Concert Band, whatever the weather!”
There will be free parking at the Orchard Street and Town Hall multi-storey car parks every Sunday and from 5pm weekdays. Both car parks will be closed on December 25 and 26.
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