This year’s Jewellery Quarter Christmas Window Trail will shine a spotlight on the city’s homeless, raising much-needed funds for charities helping rough sleepers across the region. Alongside this, the JQBID’s biggest ever Christmas Lights Switch On took place last week with live music, special guest appearances and food stalls, all rounded off with a spectacular fireworks display.
The switch-on officially kickstarted the BID’s third annual Christmas Window Trail, showcasing 75 local businesses from across the world-famous jewellery district. Retailers will be offering exclusive discounts and visitors can follow the trail and vote for their favourite window via the BID’s website and social media.
But behind the festivities, organisers say this year’s Christmas events have a serious message too. Focussing on helping the city’s homeless, they will be raising money for Change into Action, an alternative giving scheme that supports specialist charities and street teams working to change the circumstances of rough sleepers.
The Jewellery Quarter hit the headlines across the world in 2019 after a mural by street artist Banksy appeared on the railway bridge outside the area’s Vyse Street station. Depicting the reality of homelessness in Birmingham, Banksy uploaded a video to Instagram – which has now been viewed nearly 6.9 million times – of a man named Ryan bedding down for the night on a bench as a pair of reindeers lifted him into the night sky.
The switch on is from 5-7pm and Hockley Social Club will be providing delicious dishes from Buddha Belly and Confection and Rose Villa Tavern, Lunchi and Urban providing festive tipples. The official mascot for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Perry – who’s gold medal was made in the Jewellery Quarter – will also be making a special appearance.
For more information on both events, visit the Facebook event page https://fb.me/e/2PkCOVmLB, the BID website jewelleryquarter.net/jq-christmas or download the Discover JQ app: https://www.discoverjq.co.uk/