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Centre transformed for launch of wonderland

Construction: David Sullivan adding water to layer the ice in the rink

Construction: David Sullivan adding water to layer the ice in the rink

The countdown is on for the launch of a winter wonderland in Preston.

Construction of a real ice rink in Preston’s flag market got underway yesterday and by the weekend the site will be complete with log cabins and a children’s fair ground.

The ice rink will open on Saturday and the log cabins will be serving festive food and drink including mulled wine, spiced cider and hot chocolate as well as mince pies.

The opening weekend will feature Lancashire Youth Brass Band playing seasonal favourites and Pathfinder Youth Choir.

Festive street performers, mischievous Jacks of Frost will be on hand for photos alongside Christmas fairies, Sugar and Plum accompanied by a giant Christmas pudding.

A children’s fairground featuring a number of rides including 100ft big swings and a Ferris wheel will add to the activities.

Coun Tom Burns, cabinet member for leisure and culture said: “This is without doubt the best Christmas programme we have ever put on.

“We are doing what we can to support local businesses. Together with our free parking offer, it gives people a reason to come into the city centre, to do their shopping and enjoy the festivities.”

Advance bookings are now being taken at the Visitor Information Centre for the ice rink.

A limited number of tickets have been made available for each session, for advanced booking across the three week period, allowing people to plan when they skate, guaranteeing a session at a preferred time.

Tickets can still be purchased on the day at the box office on the Flag Market for those wanting to skate on the spur of the moment.

Sessions last for 45 minutes.

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