THE annual Winchester Christmas Lights Switch On will take place tomorrow from 4pm.

Held in The Broadway, this year’s event will be hosted by Heart Radio’s Rich Clarke, who will be joined by The Spitfire Sisters, Winchester Cathedral Choristers, the Pilgrim’s School Chamber Choir and Integr8 Dance.

Winchester BID recently hosted a ‘search for local heroes’ campaign to help find a Winchester star to switch on the festive lights.

Entries have since closed and more than 200 nominations have been received.

The winner will be announced at the event and welcomed on stage to push the button.

The countdown will begin just before 6pm, when the local heroes will join the cast of the Beauty and the Beast pantomime at the Theatre Royal.

Festive market stalls will also line the High Street leading down to The Broadway, where the main stage, a giant screen and Santa’s sleigh will be located.

Paul Spencer, BID Manager, said: “This is a fun, family event that brings together the whole of the city’s community and helps get everyone in the festive spirit.

“Heroes come in all forms and sometimes it is the small things people do which make a huge difference to those around them.

“They could be a friend, family member, school friend, group, colleague or volunteer.”

“On the night, we will be encouraging the public to get involved with the celebrations on social media too, to tag their photos and posts with #FestiveWinch and #WinchLights so we can repost and share the fun.”

Paul continued: “We hope those who attend will make the most of their visit, heading into the city centre before the event to sample the wonderful range of independent shops, many of which are located off the High Street and are a great way of shopping for unique gifts and stocking fillers for loved ones.

“And afterwards, it’s a lovely chance to walk the newly illuminated city and then head to one of the many great restaurants for dinner, cosy cafés for a toasty hot chocolate or scenic pubs for a warming fireside drink.”

As part of the festive season, Winchester BID are also working with Winchester City Council to provide free Park and Ride on Sundays for six weeks in the run up to Christmas, starting on November 18.

Winchester’s Christmas market will also return to the Cathedral grounds from November 17.