Doncaster war hero set to turn on festive lights

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Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson is set to switch on the borough’s Christmas lights later this week.

Civic officials have confirmed that the former paratrooper, who was seriously injured in Afghanistan but went on to receive the MBE for his charity work, will perform the honour this Thursday evening.

The lights switch-on is one of a number of high-profile events in the borough to mark the approach of Christmas.

Late-night Doncaster Town Centre shopping for Christmas will get under way the same day to coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on event.

The festive family fun will start at 4.30pm in Doncaster Market Square with a line- up that will include a number of well-known entertainment acts.

Attractions include live bands The Bowkers and Bang Bang Romeo.

There will also be appearances by cosplayers, including Darth Vader and Stormtroopers, and by players and mascots from Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster Belles and Doncaster Knights.

Characters from CAST panto Jack and the Beanstalk will also be on stage.

Some of the Christmas lights are already in place in the town centre.

There will be a Christmas Parade with Warmsworth and Edlington Lions and at 6.15pm the winners of the competition to choose a school choir to sing at the event will be announced on the stage.

There will be appearances from the cast of Hansel and Gretel from The Little Theatre, as well as Christmas Gift, food and drink stalls.

Then, at 6.30pm Doncaster war hero Ben will be switching on the lights.

Coun Chris McGuinness, cabinet member for communities, said: “Doncaster people have so much community spirit and it really shines through during the festive period.

“I hope people of all ages will enjoy the festive lights and events throughout the borough.”