AN ACTION-PACKED evening of music, basketball and festive panto will be held next week to celebrate the switch on of the city's Christmas lights.

Christmas festivities officially begin in Worcester next Thursday (November 21) where the city's basketball team Worcester Wolves, the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and a whole host of musical guests will descend on Cathedral Square for the big unveiling.

The fun-packed family event, hosted by BBC Hereford and Worcester, will see 'Worcester's Pavarotti' Luke Swatman, Heini Hughes, Mike Skilbeck and the Worcester Rock Choir amongst others performing in Cathedral Square.

The event kick offs at 4pm, with members of the Worcester Wolves basketball team on hand to give basketball demonstrations, sign autographs, have photos as well as talk about the game.

There will also be ‘have a go’ sessions for the youngsters.

Thomas Bennett, marketing and communications manager at Worcester Wolves, said: "We are very proud to be part of this year’s Christmas lights switch on and have the opportunity to showcase basketball in our great city.

“It promises to be another fantastic event and we look forward to seeing everyone there.”

The cast of the Worcester Repertory Company Christmas Pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, will be ‘Hi Ho-ing’ their way in to proceedings from 5.15pm onwards - encouraging families to sing along with songs from the show.

The mayor of Worcester, Cllr Allah Ditta, will be switching on the lights alongside the city's Carnival Queen.

Cllr Ditta said: “Come and be part of the action as Worcester celebrates the final countdown to Christmas.

"There’s always a fantastic atmosphere and this promises to be a really fun filled uplifting occasion.”

White and gold coloured lights are being specially hired by Worcester City Council to bring festive sparkle to the city centre, as the Christmas shopping season begins in earnest.

Fairy lights are also being installed in trees along the High Street to create an extra magical effect.

The switch on event also marks the start of late night Christmas shopping in Worcester city centre with many shops staying open until 8pm on Thursday evenings.

The lights are designed to be very low energy and will be on 24 hours a day.