Carlisle is set to sparkle next weekend as final preparations are being put in place for the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

A galaxy of thousands of sparkling lights is in the process of being installed within the city centre with the new decorations concentrated around the Scotch Street, English Street, Castle Street, Fisher Street and Greenmarket areas. 

This festive display will be revealed between 3pm and 5.30pm outside the Old Town Hall on November 19. 

Popular artist Chesney Hawkes will be the main attraction of the event.

Alongside him, Carlisle United Manager Paul Simpson is making a guest appearance.

The afternoon will also feature saxophonist Vicki Watson and will be hosted by local favourite, Robbie Dee. 

The event will also be a showcase of local community groups and performers including Castle Carrock Primary School, Studio A Dance Company, Committed2Rock Community Choir and Newtown Primary School.

The free event, organised by Cumberland Council, has a comprehensive family entertainment programme catering to all ages.

The switch-on, with the Mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Abdul Harid and Chair of Cumberland Council, Cllr Carni McCarron-Holmes, will take place at 5pm.

Councillor Anne Quilter, Cumberland Council’s Executive Member for Vibrant and Healthy Places, said: “The countdown is now underway for the Carlisle Christmas Lights Switch-On.

"It’s set to be another great community event and one not to be missed.”

Other events planned in the Cumberland area include Christmas events in Carlisle, Cockermouth, Whitehaven and Keswick.

To find out about events in your area visit