Santa arrives on big switch-on day

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Children will be able to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas from next week, as his special gingerbread grotto opens in the Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth.

The grotto will be in the New Mall, opposite TK Maxx.

His introduction is just one of a range of events taking place on Thursday, culminating in the big switch-on of the Christmas lights by Hollyoaks star Marcus Patrick and Portsmouth Football Club legend Linvoy Primus.

The fun starts at 3.30pm with free entertainment, with the switch-on scheduled for 6pm followed by an impressive fireworks finale.

The shopping centre will be open until 9pm daily from November 24, with free parking for shoppers arriving after 6pm. To see Santa and receive a gift costs £4 per child.