Watch Newcastle-under-Lyme light up this Christmas

Published: 8 November 2021

Newcastle, Christmas, Newcastle BID, events, businesses

The town's lights switch-on on Sunday, 21 November - organised by Newcastle-under-Lyme BID - kick starts a wider calendar of events designed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas is coming to Newcastle-under-Lyme from Sunday, 21 November.

The annual lights switch-on event is being scaled back this year due to Covid but it's hoped to bring some much-needed festive cheer to the town centre - that was missing last year due to lockdown - in a responsible way.

Alex Taylor, manager of the Business Improvement District (BID), said: "A decision was made by the BID board, in partnership with Council leaders, that as a town, we need to be mindful of infection rates being on the rise within the borough, and make a sensible and informed decision regarding public safety and trying to keep infection rates low by avoiding large crowds gathering, particularly around focal points such as a stage.

"Organising an event to the usual scale, which brings thousands of people into the town centre, would mean placing it in jeopardy if tighter restrictions were brought into place.

"The last thing we would want would be to cancel an event that many people look forward to at Christmas time and therefore we've made the final decision to move forward with a 'low key' switch-on featuring activities throughout the day including choirs, craft workshops, street food vendors and fairground rides.”

With a full day of activities planned, the popular Castle Artisan market is hosting more than 55 independent traders from 10am to 4pm on The Stones alongside craft making, Victorian story telling, street food, carol performances and fairground rides taking place until the lights switch-on between 4.30pm and 6pm from a town centre secure location.

The winners of the Your Heroes "Child of Courage" and "Future Star" awards are flicking the switch and 6 Towns Radio are broadcasting live throughout the day to get the public in the Christmas spirit. 

Alex added: "We wanted the light switch-on this year to be really community-led and supportive of those who have faced difficult times during lockdown. During the past six months town centre businesses have really pulled together and as a BID we want to encourage the community to pull together and support their local high street for presents, food and hospitality. 

"We’ll be giving away vouchers throughout the day, in person and on social media, to be spent in businesses with a real focus on shopping local this Christmas."

The switch-on event kick starts the beginning of a calendar of events in the town centre and local area including festive markets from Castle Artisan Market, a Vegan market, lantern making workshops by B Arts and two brand new dining events.

The team behind Feast Stone is bringing "Feast to Newcastle" on 10 and 11 December with street food vendors and live music from across the county and beyond while "Get Stuffed" is offering unique street food twists on festive classics where you can snuggle up in front of real open log fires and a giant outdoor movie screen at Goose Street car park between 16 and 20 December.

The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said: “This year we have a really exciting and wide-ranging programme of Christmas entertainment to offer residents, families and visitors to Newcastle.

“From the launch and switch-on on Sunday 21 November, we can take the opportunity to enjoy the festive lights, the themed entertainment, the unique workshops and all of the other events on offer all over town right up to Christmas.

“While we look forward to the activities and events, we will also continue to follow the Covid secure guidance to protect ourselves and each other.

“I hope everyone has some fabulous festive fun. If you’re driving in, remember to take advantage of the Council's parking offers; free on the Midway multi-storey from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Saturday, and then - like our other town centre car parks - £1 from 1pm to 8am the following day, and free on Sundays all year round.”

For more information is available here.

Last updated 8 November 2021