Festival of Christmas

9 October 2019

Festival of Christmas in Swindon town centre launches with a star-studded line-up!

inSwindon BID are delighted to be hosting the Festival of Christmas, celebrating everything ‘Christmas’ taking place in Swindon town centre from 16th November - 31st December.

This includes the annual Big Light Switch On, which takes place on Saturday 16th November from 5pm-6pm in Wharf Green, featuring a variety of local community acts for visitors to enjoy and will be headlined by not one, not two, but three fantastic celebrities for 2019!

Organised annually by inSwindon BID Company, the free event attracted over 12,000 visitors to the town centre in 2018 with the aim of supporting local businesses, as well as bringing the community together to kick off the festive season.

For 2019, a variety of fresh acts and activities are planned and inSwindon BID are excited to announce singer-songwriter, Strictly Come Dancing star and member of former boyband JLS, Aston Merrygold will be switching on the lights, alongside the Wyvern Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty panto star’s, Michelle Collins and CBeebies Chris Jarvis!

inSwindon BID Chief Executive, Di Powell said "Our Festival of Christmas promises to be one to remember. We deliver many free events all year round - however, this one’s certainly our favourite! We’re thrilled to be working closely with the Wyvern Theatre and other local businesses to bring even more to the Big Light Switch On this year, whilst promoting a whole programme of activity for everyone to enjoy across the season with the businesses right here in the town centre. We feel it’s a chance for the whole family to get together this Christmas whilst taking advantage of being able to enjoy their Christmas shopping, grab a drink or a bite to eat.”

Across the day, there will be FREE activities taking place for visitors to enjoy including Santa’s Grotto in the Upper Plaza at the Brunel Shopping Centre from 12noon-5:30pm. Santa will also be making an appearance with special guests on the main stage in Wharf Green for the official switch on moment at 6pm!

Havelock Square will play host to a Street Market and Children’s Funfair rides leading into Havelock Street, which also has a great selection of independent stores, The Street Market will feature foodie delights, gifts, stalls and more from 10am-8pm. Trader applications are still being accepted, those interested should contact info@inswindon.com before Friday 18th October for an application form.

The official Big Light Switch On main stage goes live from 5.00pm in Wharf Green and this year will be hosted by BBC Wiltshire’s Ben Prater and Sam York, who will welcome local performers including singing duo Billy & Louie who earlier this year wowed crowds at Swindon and Wiltshire PRIDE, Swindon Dance who have worked with choreographer Reuel Elija from Jukebox Collective to produce a high-energy urban piece, PQA Swindon who have a special performance planned for the audience to enjoy, as well as other performances which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Exclusive appearances will take place on stage with this year’s Wyvern Theatre Panto stars, Michelle Collins and CBeebies Chris Jarvis, who are currently in rehearsal for Sleeping Beauty which runs at the Wyvern Theatre from Saturday 7th December until Sunday 5th January 2020.

Wyvern Theatre Director Laura James said “Everyone here is really thrilled that Michelle will be joining us for this year’s fun packed pantomime, an actress with her talent and profile is sure to make this our fastest selling ever, and with Chris Jarvis also in the team, Sleeping Beauty promises to be spectacular family entertainment. We are so pleased to be working with inSwindon BID to enhance this year’s Big Light Switch On.”

And it doesn’t end there - before the dramatic finale, visitors will experience a unique performance from singer-songwriter Aston Merrygold which promises to be one to remember, before the big switch on moment at 6pm, followed by the much-loved glittering firework* display lighting up the sky above the town centre for 10-minutes, which this year is kindly sponsored by The Brunel Shopping Centre.

Centre Manager of The Brunel Shopping Centre, Jane Stewart, said “Christmas is a magical time of year and The Brunel Shopping Centre is delighted to be sponsoring the fireworks at this year’s Christmas Light Switch-On on 16th November, bringing a spectacular finale to mark the start of Christmas in Swindon town centre!”

Crowds can then take advantage of the great food and drink venues at The Crossing inside The Brunel and Regent Circus, as well as the Street Market at Havelock Square which is open until 8pm.

The Festival of Christmas begins on Saturday 16th November and inSwindon BID will be sharing events and exclusive offers taking place across Swindon town centre until 31st December.

For full information please visit www.swindontowncentre.co.uk/christmas where a full schedule of the Christmas activities will be updated regularly.

*Fireworks subject to safe weather conditions.