The official countdown to Christmas for Yellowbellies begins as Lincoln Christmas Market rolls into town – bringing an expected 300,000 visitors with it.
The festive spectacle officially opens at 6.30pm tonight after a declaration from the Mayor of Lincoln, councillor Karen Lee.
A Christmas blessing will be delivered by the Dean of Lincoln Cathedral.
Crowds will then be treated to a performance from the lederhosen-clad Schuhplattler Gruppe – an authentic German dance troupe from Boston Grammar School who have appeared on Blue Peter and Britain's Got Talent.
It marks the start of a rolling four-day programme of entertainment.
Seasonal songs will be performed by Phil Gray, the Salvation Army Band, Newlife Choir and Boston Grammar School Jazz Band.
Traders have high hopes for this year's Christmas Market which is often relied on to boost the year's profits.
Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, Ric Metcalfe, said: "The Lincoln Christmas Market is of huge importance.
"It's of huge pride to the city and has been successful over the years.
"During a period of recession, this is all the more important from the point of view of the economic wellbeing of the city.
"We hope it will also encourage visitors to come back and discover more about what Lincoln has to offer."
Simon Beardsley, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, added: "Once again, the Lincoln Christmas Market is helping to put the city and county on the map.
"As well as traditional visitors and shoppers who travel to attend, we must not forget the warm Lincolnshire welcome we give to traders, suppliers and stallholders who have come from all over the world.
"We are still in a very challenging economic climate and our members tell us that the market contributes significantly to the local economy.
"This was proven only a few years ago when it was cancelled due to bad weather and many traders found it difficult to make up the lost income.
"From a business perspective, the market is a key annual event for many small businesses and local charities as well, and it's great to see so many of them involved again this year."
For the first time a stage will be set up at St Paul in the Bail hosting, among others, The Chapterhouse Theatre Company, a drama group from Bishop Grosseteste and The Lindsay Rural Players.
Youngsters can visit a craft tent at The Lawn complex – and those with a keen eye may even be able to spot Santa Claus strolling around Eastgate, collecting donations for St Barnabas Hospice.
Visitors come from across the globe for the now famous market and for many county residents it kicks off the countdown to Christmas.
Matthew Torr, 26 from Lincoln, said: "A lot of people feel like Christmas has started when they've opened the first door on their advent calendar or put up their trees and decorations.
"But for me, it's all about walking around the market with a loved one. There's nothing better to make you feel festive."
Zach Speight, 22, from Lincoln, added: "Every year the market has a superb atmosphere and it really gets you into the Christmas spirit.
"There are lots of diverse stalls and brilliant ideas for unique presents.
"There's something to catch your eye whether you're eight, 18 or 80.
"But even if you're not there to shop, walking around with all the sights, smells and mulled wine really makes it feel like Christmas."