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Countdown to Stockton Sparkles begins

Friday, November 18, 2016


WITH less than a week to go until Stockton Sparkles launch night the finishing touches are being made to transform Stockton Town Centre into a winter wonderland.

On Thursday 24 November residents and visitors are invited to the Town Centre to get in the mood for Christmas and enjoy a magical evening of entertainment including a return of the popular singing Christmas tree and the annual Christmas lights switch on.

From 5.30pm visitors to Stockton High Street will enjoy a whole host of seasonal fun including performances from New Orleans-inspired brass band, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, circus street theatre comedy duo Garaghty and Thom and The Wildcats of Kilkenny.  BBC Tees’ Lisa McCormick will host the evening, creating a party atmosphere.

At 6.15pm the Singing Christmas Tree will set the perfect festive tone performing seasonal classics culminating in a Christmas sing-a-long before the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon,Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ken Dixon and Mayoress Linda Dixon join Santa Claus to switch-on the town’s lights and spectacular larger than life decorations at 6.30pm. 

Mike McGrother is the musical director behind the singing tree bringing together singers and musicians from across the Tees Valley for the uplifting performance.

Last night (Thursday 17 November) the 60 strong choir, who will form the singing Christmas tree, rehearsed with Mike McGrother to get ready for their amazing performance which will be accompanied on the night by Mike's band, The Wildcats of Kilkenny.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Norma Wilburn, said: “Visitors to Stockton Town Centre will be in for a real treat as the town is set to be transformed into a magical, winter wonderland. Giant and glittering decorations, a bustling Christmas market, captivating street theatre, and the Town Centre's fabulous 50ft tree – there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

“Make sure you come along for what is set to be an evening packed full of spectacular performances and Christmas cheer.”

For more information about Stockton Sparkles' exciting programme visit

Take a look at last year's sparkling opening night on flickr here and on youtube

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