Shoppers are being urged to ‘Win Your Christmas’ by taking part in a Northampton town centre Golden Ticket giveaway.

Four lucky winners will each win £500 of vouchers as part of the £2,000 prize fund, simply by hand-posting an entry ticket into special post boxes found in shops and businesses in the town centre.

The Golden Ticket campaign, organised by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) will encourage people to ‘shop local’ this Christmas and support Northampton businesses, with the added incentive of a prize to spend in town centre shops and businesses of their choice.

BID Operations Manager Mark Mullen said: “After a difficult 18 months or so we’re all looking forward to spreading a bit of festive cheer this Christmas and our Golden Ticket giveaway is the perfect way to put smiles on the faces of four lucky families.

“The competition is a key component of our Christmas campaign and we can’t wait to see thousands of people enjoying a host of activities as our town centre is transformed into a Winter Wonderland.”

West Northamptonshire Council and Northampton Town Council’s Christmas lights will be switched on during an event in the Market Square on Saturday, 20 November while the BID has funded additional Christmas lighting on lampposts and streets including St Giles Terrace and Wellington Street and around All Saints Church.

No festive season is complete without a visit to Father Christmas and families with children up to the age of 10 will be able to visit Santa’s Grotto in Grosvenor Shopping Northampton at the switch-on and then from 10.30am to 4pm every Saturday and Sunday in December prior to Christmas, as well weekdays from Monday, 20 December to Thursday, 23 December.

West Northamptonshire Council’s Frost Fair will be returning to the Market Square between 11am and 4pm on Sunday 28 November along with a parade, giving shoppers the chance to pick up some extra special Christmas gifts while celebrating the town’s creative makers, artists and traders.

Meanwhile, Northampton BID is calling on businesses to ‘get festive’ with their window displays and get the town centre looking its absolute best this Christmas.

Businesses will be competing to turn their shop windows into a winter wonderland full of festive cheer, before an independent judging panel and a public vote on Facebook decide the winners.

A 24-hour Christmas radio station dedicated to Northampton will be hitting the airwaves this December. Operated by NLive Radio, and sponsored by the BID, the digital station will be playing back-to-back Christmas songs from within the University of Northampton, Grosvenor Shopping and multiple town centre retailers, with businesses able to provide a free 10 second sound clip to be played.

Northampton Town Council’s augmented reality trail ‘A Christmas Story’ will launch on November 28 via the Explore Northampton app. Children can follow the trail around 10 town centre locations to see a life-sized Father Christmas appear on their smartphone.

The Town Council’s stage in the Market Square will feature live performances and roaming street entertainment between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays throughout December.

The festive programme has been compiled by the BID, Northampton Town Council and West Northamptonshire Council.

For more information, and details of how to book for Santa’s Grotto, visit www.discovernorthampton.co.uk

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