Oldham’s Christmas Lights Switch On returns next month as the council releases its festive programme.

A Christmas parade led by Santa will kick-off this year’s festivities at noon on Saturday November 18, with live performances as it makes its way through the town centre and High Street.

As the evening commences so too does the illuminations starting with the Christmas Lights Switch On Show ‘The Wrong Reindeer’ and Firework Finale from 5.30pm.

The Oldham Times: Fireworks at last year's Christmas Light Switch OnFireworks at last year's Christmas Light Switch On (Image: Oldham Council)

Cllr Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council, said: “It’s that festive time of year again and it brings me so much joy to announce our Christmas events programme for 2023.

“These events capture the spirit of the season as well as providing fun and free activities for families, as we know cash can be tight for some.

"I'm so proud that we as a council can work with performers from across the country, local community groups and arts organisations alike to put on a truly special events programme for people of all ages to enjoy."

A procession of more than 200 people will meet at the Old Town Hall, Yorkshire Street, with many performing including the likes of the Dobcross Silver Band, fusion musicians Global Grooves Bloco, and the Oldham Scottish Pipe Band.

The Oldham Times: Reindeer parade at last year's Christmas Light Switch OnReindeer parade at last year's Christmas Light Switch On (Image: Oldham Council)

From 12.30pm until the switch-on there will be a meet and greet opportunity with Santa and his elf, a singing Christmas tree and Musical Ruth – a man dressed as a nun while playing a piano on wheels.

To finish off the day of free entertainment, the annual Light Switch On Show returns at the Old Town Hall.

The Wrong Reindeer show - tale of a donkey who dreams of being a reindeer, created by Oldham Theatre Workshop, will be performed prior to the illuminations of the lights and tree and the fireworks.

All the events are family friendly and free including the Brass Monkey Festival Saturday December 9 from 11am to 3pm, where local and national brass bands will descend on Oldham town centre.

The Heritage, Libraries and Arts Service is also hosting an array of events, including showings of The Wrong Reindeer, a 20th anniversary screening of Elf and a Christmas Books and Bobs Fair.