DUDLEY'S Mayor is hoping the crowds turn out to enjoy a day of free festive entertainment this Saturday when the town hosts its official Christmas lights switch-on event.

Entertainment on the main stage in Dudley town centre will get under way at midday, with the lights switch on expected at around 5pm.

The day will include free performances of pantomime Dick Whittington by Funtime Theatre inside Top Church at 1.30pm and 3pm, and live entertainment by local musicians and bands on the main stage from midday onwards.

Unique street act The Angels will be entertaining the crowds in the afternoon – they will also be in Brierley Hill on Saturday morning - while there will also be appearances from Disney favourites Olaf and Yeti.

There will also be a Christmas market, operated by Tudor Markets, which will run from 9am to 5.30pm.

And on stage pressing the button for the big switch on will be BBC WM presenter Ambur Sandhu, the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Anne Millward, and characters from Dick Whittington.

Brierley Hill will also be hosting its Christmas lights switch-on event on the same day, from meanwhile, from 9am to 5pm in the High Street and Moor Centre where there'll be a Christmas street market, funfair, street entertainers and live music from local musicians and bands.

Hero butcher Gordon Tranter and student nurse Olivia Jane Hanson, who both helped save a woman’s life performing CPR after she collapsed while shopping in the town in June, have been invited to press the button and light up the town, alongside the Deputy Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Sue Greenaway.

Councillor Anne Millward, Mayor of Dudley, said: "I’m really looking forward to attending the event in Dudley this weekend, and hope lots of people will turn out for that and the switch-on in Brierley Hill to signal the start of the festive season.

"It was great to see Stourbridge and Halesowen packed with people last weekend for their switch-ons, and I am sure Dudley and Brierley Hill will be just as bustling.

"These events help to support our town centre businesses and traders who have been there for us throughout the pandemic. We hope people come along to the events, enjoy the entertainment on offer and show their support for local businesses."

Parking is free on council-owned car parks in Dudley and Brierley Hill all day on Saturday.