Hackney's Christmas lights switch-on takes place on 27 November

Start the festive season in Hackney with a family event at the Town Hall Square from 4.30pm

THE countdown to celebrating the festive season in Hackney has begun, with the Christmas lights switch-on scheduled for 27 November.

Panto characters from the cast of Hackney Empire’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ will join the Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Rosemary Sales, to switch on the lights from 4.30pm in the Town Hall Square.

The event will also feature music from Hackney Community Choir and a theatrical spectacular from ‘The Rollettes’ of Graeae’s Theatre Company.

As well as enjoying the entertainment, residents can pick up bicycle reflectors, lights and rucksack covers to help them keep safe on dark winter evenings. Cyclists can also get a Dr Bike health check to fix minor problems and get bikes securely marked by police officers.

The Hackney Central tree is one of four located in each of the borough’s town centres, which will be decked out in decorations by top name designers.