Talented performers will help officially start the festivities in Coventry when they take to the stage for an evening of entertainment.
An array of singers and dancers will be out in force for this year’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-on, which is set to go ahead on Wednesday, November 21.
To encourage people to come and enjoy the festivities on the evening, the Council will be offering free car parking in selected city centre car parks, when entering after 3pm. The festive car parking offer is also extending into the key Christmas trading period.
Once again the seasonal spectacular, which has been organised by Coventry City Council and Coventry Business Improvement District (BID), will be going ahead in Broadgate in Coventry city centre.
Reigning champions of television talent show The X Factor, Rak-Su, will be the special guests for the evening and join The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John Blundell, with the help of Father Christmas in switching the lights on.
Free Radio breakfast hosts, JD and Roisin, will be comperes for the night and will be making sure that the proceedings run smoothly.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Cabinet Member for Events, said: “The big Christmas lights switch on is a popular date in the city’s events calendar and looking at the line-up for this year’s event, I’m sure it’ll be as popular as ever. I look forward to joining in the fun with everybody else in Broadgate on the night.”
A number of other top talents will also be performing on the night including pop singer Charlie Healy, Elite Dance, Coventry’s own Voice Squad plus a performance by Coventry Music’s Sound Lab project featuring young Coventry musicians.
To celebrate Coventry’s status as European City of Sport for 2019, Coventry’s very own medal winning Paralympian Kare Adenegan, will also be recognised for her sporting achievements and her recent capture of the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
There will also be special appearances from sports clubs including Coventry Rugby, Coventry City, Wasps and Coventry Bears.
Coventry BID director, Trish Willets, said that the event, which is running between 5pm and 7.35pm, is perfect for the whole family to enjoy and urged everyone to come along.
“Year on year, Coventry produces an excellent show to start the festive season off in style and 2018 will be no exception,” said Trish.
“We have so much fantastic local talent performing at this year’s event and then to top it all off, we have Rak-Su as well.
“So come down to Coventry city centre, enjoy all the entertainment and start the festive season off with an amazing show.”
Councillor Jayne Innes, Cabinet Member for City Services, added: “The annual lights switch on is always a popular event and we want to play our own part to encourage people to come along and enjoy the evening by offering free parking after 3pm in Council car parks on the day.
“We also appreciate that the Christmas period is really key to many city centre businesses which is why we’re extending our festive parking offer for late night shoppers every Wednesday after the switch on, and, we’ll also be extending the offer in the week leading up to Christmas Day to attract shoppers and visitors into the city centre.”
The lights switch-on also marks the start of late night shopping within the city centre with stores staying open longer during the evening. Shops will then be open late every Wednesday in the run up to Christmas Day.
An early festive present is being given to drivers as car parks will be free for late night shopping every Wednesday when entering after 3pm, starting from Wednesday, November 21.
They will then be free between Monday, December 17 and Friday, December 21 when entering after 3pm in the run up to the big day.
Participating car parks are Barracks, Bishop Street, Cheylesmore, City Arcade, Cox Street, Gosford Street, Grosvenor Road, Grove Street, Lower Ford Street, Manor House Drive, New Union Street, Spon Street, West Orchards and Whitefriars Street.