Christmas arrives in Norwich this Thursday (14 November), when the city centre will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland.

Norwich City star, Todd Cantwell, who was also born in Norfolk, will kick things off at this year’s Christmas Switch On, as he turns on the illuminations and pyrotechnics.

As well as the return of the much-loved Tunnel of Light, the city council has been working with Norwich BID to wrap 37 city trees with twinkly lights.

The night will begin with a parade for all to join. This year Father Christmas has recruited a team of wannabe Santa’s, alongside a host of festive friends and performers to join his parade from Norwich Cathedral to Gaol Hill. Come along and take part in this jolly march through the city.

There will be seasonal surprises around every corner, including Rock Choir, Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass and giant snow globes

Say hello to Father Christmas and get your letter in early by visiting his free grotto, found in Norwich Undercroft.

Save your spot outside City Hall to see acts including Norwich Theatre Royal’s community choir, Framtastic Gymnastics and Acafellas all before the big switch on.

Clare Hubery, Norwich City Council’s culture and events manager, said: “It is fantastic to have so many performers involved in this free night of festivities in the city, and we are delighted to have a Norwich City academy graduate doing the switch-on honours.

“As well as residents and visitors, this is also an opportunity for city businesses to join the Christmas cheer you’ll see through the streets of Norwich.”

Plan your night with this timetable:

Santa’s parade: 5:15 to 5:45pm
Visit the grotto: 6 to 8pm
Stage performances: 6 to 7:30pm
Switch on: 7pm

If your child would prefer to meet Santa when the grotto is a little quieter and calmer, you can book a visit between 11am and 3pm Sunday 1 December. Email or call 01603 212137 for information.