Five spectacular switch ons for all the family will light up Wolverhampton for the countdown to Christmas.

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Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Ian Brookfield, Santa and his reindeers will be joined by the Chuckle Brothers, stars of the Grand Theatre's Peter Pan panto, and Wolves FC players to lead the festivities in Queen Square from 5pm on Wednesday, 25 November.

The evening will climax with a fabulous fireworks show at 6.30pm.

Free Radio's Big Screen will also be on site to provide entertainment, alongside children's TV characters Bing and Flop, seasonal market stalls, Christmas music and a mini funfair.

The city centre fun is followed by 4 more evenings of festive celebrations when Wednesfield, Bilston, Tettenhall and Bantock Park lights are also switched on by Santa and the Mayor of Wolverhampton, with lots more free family entertainment on offer.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "Each year we get more and more families coming along to enjoy the lights being switched on to mark the start of the countdown to Christmas - they really are great free evenings out.

"We have again worked closely with partners, including Wolverhampton's BID, to ensure that festive shoppers and local businesses also enjoy the benefits of free parking in Wolverhampton city centre in the run up to Christmas.

"Wolverhampton is a great place to shop with a diverse range of shops, attracting visitors from across the region. Our offer is improving following the launch of the BID this year, and given the vote of confidence in the city by Benson Elliot, who are investing £35 million to redevelop the Mander Centre."

Free parking will be available on Fold Street car park from 3pm on the following Wednesdays: 25 November, 2, 9 and 16 December; and from Monday, 21 December to Wednesday, 23 December.

There will also be free all day parking on Fold Street car park on each Sunday in December in the build up to Christmas.

Councillor Reynolds added: "It's also worth remembering that, despite the huge financial challenges we face, we have kept parking costs down for local people so that we are more than competitive with other places in our region.

"It costs just £1 for 2 hours on most council car parks.

"It is also easy for people to pay on council car parks; the Civic Centre car park offers pay on exit and card payments, while all others provide the option to pay by phone using the RinGo app.

"Given that two thirds of the city centre's car parks are privately owned, we also work closely with the BID and partners to ensure that our offer is complimentary to the incentives promoted by private car park owners. Discussions are active and ongoing to ensure that we come up with a great offer for local people."

All the below Christmas events are free:

  • Wednesday 25 November - Wolverhampton, Queen Square - event starts 5pm, lights switch on 6.30pm
  • Thursday 26 November - Wednesfield, High Street - event starts 4pm, lights switch on 5pm
  • Friday 27 November - Bilston, Church Street - event starts 4pm, lights switch on 5pm
  • Saturday 28 November - Tettenhall, Upper Green - event starts 5pm, lights switch on 6.30pm
  • Sunday 29 November - Bantock Park, Finchfield Road - event starts 5pm, lights switch on 6.45pm
  • released: Monday 9 November, 2015