It’s (Almost) The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Ok, we know it’s still November, but there are mince pies in the shops, the M&S food brochure is out and the John Lewis advert is on TV – that means we can officially start getting excited for Christmas!

We’re not those people who have got the tree up already, but we are excitedly looking forward to the festive events coming up in the city starting with the traditional curtain-raiser: Christmas Lights Switch on.

It all kicks off on Thursday 18th November. The Town Hall and city’s streets will be illuminated with over 16,000 sparkling bulbs and a spectacular 50-foot tree decorated with festive lights and baubles will take centre stage at the Clock Tower.

This year the celebrations will be different to previous years to ensure crowds are spread out around the city centre.

There will be no stage programme on Humberstone Gate, instead a countdown hosted by BBC Radio Leicester will be played out on speakers across the city at 6.30pm to switch-on the Christmas lights, so you can see the streets come alight wherever you are!

During the evening there will be food, films and music whilst costume characters and live entertainment roam the streets. The city’s traditional nativity scene and a festive tableau scene, featuring a new augmented reality experience for youngsters, will be installed in Town Hall Square.


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The Cultural Quarter will be home to Rhizome throughout the festive period, a light-art installation by artists Tom and Lien Dekyvere. From 6.30pm on Thursday 18 November, watch the winter skies will be transformed by hundreds of metres of suspended, illuminated neon rope.

Explore this glowing, interconnected web overhead, forming an immersive cocoon where you can bathe in the softly glowing light. To celebrate the launch of Rhizome and Leicester’s Christmas Light Switch-On, The Exchange Bar will also be offering a special one-night-only Winter Warmer drinks menu, which will feature a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to get you feeling festive.

After the switch-on, Rhizome will be in place on Orton Square up to 6 January, illuminated between 4:30-10:30pm daily.

If that’s got you dusting off your Christmas jumpers then you’ll also want to put Thursday 2nd December in the diary, which marks the return of the Jubilee Square Ice Rink.

If you’re coming to the Christmas Lights Switch-On, Leicester City Council recommend you do a quick lateral flow test before you go out, wear a face covering in crowds and indoor spaces, and please stay at home if you feel unwell.

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