Christmas Lights ExtravaganzaBy Phil Creighton
November 20, 2008
This weekend, polar bears, Father Christmas, King Rat and 1,000 candles will help Reading enjoy its annual Christmas lights extravaganza.
Reading becomes its very own winter wonderland this weekend as the town switches on its Christmas lights.
The town’s stores have all worked together to ensure that each switch-on complements the others, so you can see everything.
Attractions include the arrival of Father Christmas, a visit from King Rat – alias John Altman – at the Broad Street Mall and The Oracle’s Riverside will enjoy its now traditional lightshow.
It all starts on Friday, when John Lewis in Broad Street welcomes the arrival of Father Christmas and a polar bear.
Santa promises children that he’ll look forward to having their photograph taken with him.
You will have the opportunity to meet the Polar Fantastic crew and stroke the friendly bear on the nose while learning more about the noble beast.
Elsewhere, the store will welcome Kingsley the Lion, Reading FC’s mascot, to the sports department,
offer samples of seasonal dishes and provide some surprise entertainment on Broad Street.
At 7pm, all attention will go to the Riverside, where 1,000 candles will float down the River Kennet while a state of the art light show erupts across the crowds.
This year, the show will take place on the Delphi Bridge so that there’s even more space for spectators.
“The Christmas Spectacular is a great way to thank our customers for their continued support and to celebrate the start of the festive period,” says Steve Belam, general manager at The Oracle.
“The annual performance has become famous in Reading with people coming from all over the region to see the show, and this year’s event will certainly not disappoint – be sure to arrive early to get that prime viewing spot.”
On Saturday, it’s Broad Street Mall’s chance to be a Christmas star.
The fun starts at noon, with performances from the finalists of this year’s amazing Has Reading Got Talent? contest, and other festive fun and surprises promised.
Then, at 4pm, John Altman – best known as Nasty Nick Cotton in the BBC soap EastEnders – will switch on the Christmas lights.
The actor, who plays King Rat in The Hexagon’s panto Dick Whittington, follows in the footsteps
of a range of famous faces, including Antony Cotton and Samia Smith who pressed the button last year.
It promises to be a brilliant, family friendly weekend that will start your festive celebrations in style.