Nativity and market to start centre festivities

The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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LIVE music, a lantern parade and a festive market will mark the start of Christmas at Whiteley Shopping Centre.

It will mark the start of its festive celebrations tomorrow with its annual Christmas launch event.

A market will be held with more than 20 stalls selling food, candles, cards, gift wrap, wooden crafts and jewellery.

Children can visit a petting zoo, Miller’s Ark, which will be bringing along its own Christmas donkey’s stable.

Shoppers are invited to meet the animals and nativity characters, and join in the carol singing with the 1st Whiteley Scouts.

Father Christmas will switch on the centre’s lights, and will be bringing his sack of gifts, from 4.15pm.

The lantern parade starts in Market Square at 5.40pm.

Centre manager Neil Carter said: ‘The atmosphere is always great at this time of year and our launch event always gets people in the festive mood.

‘We’d love people to kick off the festive period with us.’