Celebrity guests and Strictly Come Dancing carriage booked for Highgate Christmas festival ‘fantasy wonderland’

Highgate will be transformed into a festive fantasy wonderland with mystery celebrity guests and a Cinderella-style carriage from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Organisers of the second Highgate Christmas Festival hope that this year’s event will be bigger and better than last year’s, with new additions such as a stage in South Grove and a variety of spectacular fantasy-themed entertainment.

TV presenter and Highgate resident Alex Zane is confirmed as host for the festival on Saturday, November 16 and as yet unnamed celebrities will be switching on the lights in Highgate High Street and Pond Square.

Lead organiser Jane Wiles, of children’s boutique Notsobig in Highgate High Street, said: “I am a little worried that we won’t get a stage as we still need to find someone or a couple of people to sponsor it.

“It’s all last-minute now but I am so excited about the event. It is going to be lots of fun.”

The Cinderella-style carriage, which was used in Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas special last year, will be pulled by two white horses and children can have their photographs taken inside it.

Two ballet dancers will perform in a giant snow globe while three reindeer and their elvish handlers will make Highgate residents feel as if they are at the North Pole.

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Father Christmas will be sitting in a tree-lined grotto and fairies will go around granting wishes.

Mulled wine will be flowing for the adults and food will be sold from a silver chrome van.

Celebrity guests, Zane and representatives from the event’s main sponsors will be in the VIP area.

Italian restaurant Strada in South Grove will feed the distinguished guests at the VIP venue at the Highgate Society in South Grove, while Notsobig will provide the drinks.

Haringey Council has pledged £4,000 to fund the Christmas lights but Camden Council will not be contributing to the cost of putting up and taking down the lights.

Lead organiser Charlotte Bourne, associate director at Taylor Gibbs in Highgate High Street, said: “This year’s event will be bigger and better with more people. Everything will be local and it’s going to be great.”

Last year, more than 3,000 people, including celebrity Highgate residents Kate Moss and Geri Halliwell, watched the lights being switched on.

Sponsors so far confirmed are Notsobig, Strada, the Highgate Society, Highgate Hospital, Highgate Dental Practice, Streathers Solicitors, and estate agents Taylor Gibbs, Goldschmidt and Howland, Litchfields, and Prickett & Ellis Underhill.