CHRISTMAS will begin in Newport on Saturday — compete with ice skating, a festive market, and live performances throughout the day.

Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council has arranged a Christmas event this year to herald the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights.

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The aim of the day is to celebrate the community of Newport and bring vibrancy and entertainment to the county town of the Isle of Wight.

Such is the anticipation of the event among families, the ice skating is already completely booked up.

Isle of Wight County Press:

There will be a Christmas market in St Thomas Square with more than 20 local makers and producers, displaying crafts and gifts.

Claire Kennard, of Market Days CIC, said: “We are really looking forward to a great day that brings people to Newport and showcases some of the great things about the town.

"Our aim is to revive markets on the Isle of Wight and we are really proud to be part of the this fabulous festive day.”

Isle of Wight County Press:

Also in St Thomas Square there will be singing from Barton School Choirs, busking, balloon making and band performances galore as well as the chance to meet some of the resident donkeys from the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary.

In St James Square there will be a stage and performances by Huxely Magic, Snostoppin’ Huskies, Jukebox Jazz, Maurice Kachuk and more.

Around the ice rink at the quayside a mini food festival, with food trailers and refreshments available inside the Riverside Centre, along with more craft stalls.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Cllr Geoff Brodie, chair of Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council, said: “Saturday has seen a great deal of advance planning by community council staff.

"We now hope that local residents will come along and enjoy the day.

"A day when we can all enjoy events to get us in the mood for Christmas. I only wish my knees were up to ice skating!"