AN OLYMPIC athlete is set to light up Ashbourne ahead of festive celebrations this year.
Badminton star Donna Kellogg MBE will flick the switch to illuminate the town as part of a bigger event to highlight Ashbourne town centre at Christmas.
Ms Kellogg, 34, who has been awarded an MBE, will be aided in the task by Olympic Torchbearer Megan Mosedale, the teenager who carried the flame through the streets of Ashbourne ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Now retired from competitive badminton, Derbyshire-based star Ms Kellogg won European Womens Doubles titles in 2000 and 2006, was 2007 All England Mixed Doubles Finalist, took a 2006 World Silver Medal, became 2008 European Champion and seven times winner of English National Womens titles.
She also took Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, represented Great Britain in three Olympic Games Derbyshire Sports Person of the Year 2009.
Ms Kellogg told the news Telegraph: “It is a quite an honour to be asked to turn on the Christmas lights with Megan, especially being from Derbyshire.
“Ashbourne is a lovely small town and I have enjoyed visits on my way through to the Peak District. I am really looking forward to the evening. I think it will be a lovely occasion.” The Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.30pm on Saturday, November 17 in the Market Place.
And, in a bid to encourage shoppers into the town, a food and gift fair will be at Ashbourne Town Hall from 10am until 7pm on the same day.
Admission to the fair will be free and the event will be run by We Make It, an organisation for professional artisans, artists, designer makers and ambitious individuals helping them to sell their home-crafted products.
The fair will include specially crafted toys, vintage gifts and jewellery as well as Asian chutneys and organic jams and marmalades