Canterbury Bid

Christmas Lights in Canterbury

A crowd of people celebrating the Canterbury christmas lights switch on

Christmas Lights Switch-On 2018 – Friday 16 November, 4-6pm

The annual tradition of the Christmas Lights Switch-On in November marks the start of the festive period and late night shopping in the city. The switch-on creates a focus on Canterbury which benefits the city as a whole and is a favourite family event on the festive calendar.

This year the switch-on will take place Friday 16th November in St George’s Street and will include guest presenters from Heart FM, musicians and entertainment, a snow machine and a guest appearance from the cast of Cinderella to celebrate the start of Christmas in Canterbury. The Christmas Market will launch the same day and will stay open until 8pm to keep visitors in the city centre. The lights ware provided by Gala Lights.

Christmas Lights

Canterbury will be shining brightly this Christmas with the city centre being strewn with lights paid for by the businesses in the BID area and provided by Canterbury Connected BID. Our Christmas Lights contractor, Gala Lights tests fixing points and installs the lights around the city. The Christmas lights are designed to complement and enhance this historic city. Here are your lights, in numbers:

5: miles of lights put up each year
12: people to put up and take down the lights over 7 nights
21: streets across the city decorated
100s: of permissions obtained by the BID team, allowing lights to be attached
5,000: in attendance at the annual switch-on event, enjoying themselves in our city
£66,000: is the annual cost for our Christmas decorations
118,000: LED lights twinkle above our city from

Canterbury, the place to be

Of all the places to spend time in Kent at Christmas, Canterbury has it all:

  • Great shopping from global brands to unique independent traders
  • Our city has a wealth of craftspeople including jewellers, chocolatiers, designers, potters, brewers – it’s all here on our doorstep!
  • Great eating and drinking with an amazing range of coffee houses, teashops, pubs and places to eat from quick bites to fine dining
  • Great accommodation for that short stay or long weekend; a wonderful place for a pre-Christmas treat
  • Great Christmas days and nights out: with the Marlowe Theatre putting on its world famous pantomime; the Artisan Christmas fair at the Canterbury Tales attraction; Father Christmas and a Festive Christmas Market; and the annual Saint Nicholas Parade in December…Christmas is Canterbury!

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