Christmas Lights Switch On – Under a Sky Full of Stars

Coventry’s annual Christmas Lights Switch On is back with a night celebrating local talent to accompany the big switch on taking place on Wednesday 17 November.

The family-friendly event in the city centre organised by Coventry City Council and hosted and presented by BBC CWR, will be based on a ‘Coventry Stars’ theme. The event will showcase some great local musical talent and will be set beneath a glittery canopy of star-themed lights in Broadgate.

The live entertainment will run from 6.30pm to 7.45pm.

Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Events, Coventry City Council said:

“The annual switch on event for the Christmas lights is always a popular date in the city’s events calendar and one that people look out for. For this year, we are going with a ‘Coventry Stars’ theme giving a stage to celebrate some great local talent in the city, all set within a canopy of sparkling stars in Broadgate and with the support of the Coventry BID, bring festive lighting right across the city centre.

“With last year’s public event having to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we want to bring back the sparkle and fun into the city centre as we all look forward to a wonderful time of the year.”

And to add even more sparkle to the evening, Coventry BID has partnered with the Council to deliver fantastic Christmas lighting across the city centre. With the BID lighting up key area including Cathedral Lanes, Upper Precinct, Smithford Way and Market Way, alongside additional city centre streets and the Broadgate canopy of lights funded by the Council, Coventry city centre will be spectacularly lit up ready for the festive season.

Trish Willetts, BID Director, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Coventry City Council by adding this significant investment to the Christmas Lights this year, particularly to the retail quarter.  On behalf of Coventry BID we hope everyone enjoys the event and lights this year and has a wonderful family time.”

The Switch On evening event, which will climax with the countdown and switching on of all the Christmas lights, commences with a magical musical drumming parade with the amazing Spark! drummers taking the audience on a promenade through Broadgate and the new landscaping of the city centre.

Following on with a series of ‘Coventry Stars’ performances on the performance stage in Broadgate, the evening will be topped off with DJ Santa and a rooftop firework finale.

Gareth Roberts, Executive Editor BBC CWR said:

“Coventry’s Christmas light switch-on is always a magical, family friendly celebration and after a challenging year we want to help create a really special moment to highlight the local stars who really make a difference in the city”

In addition, the Council is also bringing back free parking after 3pm on Wednesdays in city centre car parks to tie-in with the 17 November Switch On event and in the run up to Christmas Day.

As an extra incentive to encourage more shoppers and footfall into the city centre, this free car parking promotion will also run each day from Monday 20 December to Christmas Eve.  

Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member, for City Services, added:

“We know that traders and businesses have had a very challenging time during the pandemic and the tough period that many members of the public have also had, so we want to actively encourage as many people as possible to shop local this year.

“In addition to having the Switch On event and an exciting event programme during the lead up to Christmas and the new year, we will be running the free car parking offer in Council car parks every day after 3pm commencing on the 17 November Switch On night and also in the week leading up to Christmas Day itself.

“I hope people will come out and make the most of the evening as well as in the lead up to Christmas, spend time shopping and enjoying the food and drink venues to mark the start of Coventry’s festive period.”

The ‘Coventry Stars’ Switch On event is being organised by Coventry City Council and presented by BBC CWR, with additional funding and support for city centre lighting through the Coventry BID.