Countdown to Christmas in Leicester with the big lights switch-on

With less than a week to go before the Christmas lights switch-on in Leicester, the countdown to the festive period is well underway.

All the decorations, including thousands of twinkling pea-lights on the Clock Tower Christmas tree, will be lit up at the big switch-on on Thursday 21 November.

A packed programme of attractions have been planned this year, including a spectacular ice rink in Jubilee Square and the chance to meet Santa in his grotto free of charge.

There’s also a festive street food event to look forward to, a two-day Christmas fair in the city’s medieval Guildhall, and the opportunity to see Leicester’s twinkling Christmas lights from the top of a 110ft big wheel.


And for those who love a good festive film, there’s a special treat this year as Leicester’s new market square hosts a free outdoor screening of the Christmas classic, Elf.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Our Christmas programme should provide plenty of opportunities for families and friends to have fun together in Leicester city centre.”

“The real ice rink is back again, but this time there will be a new outdoor section for skaters to enjoy – so it’s bigger and better for 2019.”

“I hope that people will enjoy everything the city has to offer this Christmas, whether they’re skating on ice, shopping for gifts, having a meal, watching a show or simply enjoying Leicester’s fabulous Christmas lights.”

The spectacular ice rink in Jubilee Square is already open

Read next: Open air ice rink now open in Leicester

The city council has spent an extra £50,000 this year replacing worn-out fixtures and fittings and updating the city’s stock of lights and decorations. The additional funding means there are brand new decorations for Silver Street, High Street and Cank Street this year. In total, around 20 city centre streets will be lit up for Christmas.

While Humberstone Gate will be the focus for the big switch-on, there will also be brass bands in Town Hall Square from 5pm, where visitors will be able to see a traditional nativity scene and an animated display of Woodland Tales.

Full details of all the events taking place in Leicester this Christmas can be found at

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