A pair of towns on the Norfolk coast will soon be celebrating the traditional switching-on of their Christmas lights. 

The countdown to the Yuletide festivities in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston has officially begun, with both towns preparing to be illuminated before the month is out. 

Great Yarmouth's three-day Christmas spectacular will start at 10am on Friday, November 24, in the town centre.  

The Christmas extravaganza will include the Christmas Market, organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC), and the Christmas Light Switch On and Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre, both organised by Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership.  

Both the Christmas Market and the Christmas Fayre will be open from 10am until 8pm on Friday, 10am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday.  

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Great Yarmouth Christmas Market in 2019 - the event returns this year. Great Yarmouth Christmas Market in 2019 - the event returns this year. (Image: Great Yarmouth Borough Council)

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Festive chalets, a decorated marquee and unique trailers will house local businesses and vendors selling food, beverages, arts, crafts and gifts as part of the Christmas Market.  

The Christmas Fayre in the Minster will have more than 30 handcraft, festive food and gift stalls with festive entertainment throughout the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Santa Express road train will provide a free shuttle service between the market place and the Minster, where Father Christmas will be available for a photo. 

Deputy mayor of Great Yarmouth, Paula Waters-Bunn, will push the button on the traditional light switch-on at 7pm on Friday, November 24, which will be followed by a firework display provided by Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership. 

Entertainment provided by Harbour Radio will start around 5pm ahead of the switch on.  

Town centre manager Jonathan Newman said: “We are delighted to launch Christmas in Great Yarmouth with this fantastic combination of events over the weekend. 

"We will also have the Lardal Kantori performing in the Minster Saturday evening, making their 19th visit to Great Yarmouth from Norway.”  

Free parking is available over the festive period on Saturdays and Sundays, which starts on Saturday, November 25, and runs until Sunday, December 31. 

The participating six town centre car parks are King Street, Market Place, George Street, Brewery Plain, Stonecutters and Fullers Hill.  

Parking remains free in most town centre car parks every weekday from 4pm and noon on Wednesdays at King Street, Brewery Plain and George Street. 

READ MORE: Great Yarmouth's wet and windy Christmas light switch-on

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The crowd gathers for the Christmas lights switch-on in Gorleston last year. The crowd gathers for the Christmas lights switch-on in Gorleston last year. (Image: Kevin Huggins)

Meanwhile, in Gorleston, this year's event will take over High Street on Sunday, November 19. 

Vendors will line the street selling handmade crafts and gifts, as well as festive foods, hot drinks and sweet treats, while the shops along the High Street will also be open for business.  

There is also a festive Elf trail, where children are invited to find the letters hidden in shop windows, then unscramble them to find the missing words. 

There are four prizes to be won, including the top prize of a family ticket to Dick Whittington panto at Gorleston Pavilion. 

Additional prizes are from Penny's Sweet Treats, Sally's Gifts Galore and Flour & Bean.  

Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Penny Carpenter, will be joined on stage by specials guests from the Dick Whittington panto and Jayne Biggs from the Heart to Heart Norfolk Charity for the official light switch on at 5pm, followed by fireworks at 6pm.  

Councillor Daniel Candon, the borough council's portfolio holder for economic development and growth, said: "The Christmas light switch on in Gorleston was a huge success last year and we hope it is the same again this year.  

“The light switch on is designed as a free to attend, family event to mark the start of the festive shopping season and encourage hundreds of extra families and shoppers into Gorleston."  

Funding from Visit Great Yarmouth/GYTABIA has helped to bring you Gorleston Christmas Switch On.