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Big switch on marks the start of the festive fun!

Published Monday, 26 November 2018

Thousands packed into Broadgate and the city centre to enjoy a fantastic Christmas lights switch on last week which has officially started the festive season in Coventry.

Christmas lights 2018

The switch on event was organised by the Council and Coventry Business Improvement District (BID), and saw reigning champions of The X Factor, Rak-Su, as special guests.

Other performers keeping the crowds happy were pop singer Charlie Healy alongside an array of local talent including Elite Dance, This is Me Choir and Coventry Council’s Choir.​​

Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Events, said:

“It was another great event for the city and really pleasing to see thousands of people out enjoying themselves at the lights switch on in Broadgate. The event is always

well-attended and it’s excellent that the evening also provides a showcase for local talent too, including the This is Me Choir, Sound Lab and the Council’s very own Choir, alongside headliners Rak-Su.

“The switch on is also a great way to showcase all the city centre offers and hopefully the car parking offers we have introduced will continue to encourage people into the city centre in the lead up to Christmas.

“The evening also provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate Coventry’s status as European City of Sport next year, by recognising our very own world record holder and Paralympian, Kare Adenegan, by making her the city’s Patron for European City of Sport 2019.”

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.

Trish Willetts, Coventry BID Director, said:

“It was amazing to see so many people turn out for the lights switch-on once again.

“The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic and the whole evening was the perfect way to launch Christmas in Coventry city centre, including our headliner act Rak-Su who were a massive hit with the crowd.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved with the night from the performers to those behind the scenes, including Escape Reality, Leave it to Esmie, Esquires, Bistrot Pierre and The Botanist, you outdid yourselves.

“That just leaves one last thing to say, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

All the action from the evening can be seen at www.flickr.com/photos/coventrycc

The city centre will also play host to ‘Treats and Tipples’ in Broadgate until 23 December, a Crimbo Weekend event on 1 and 2 hosted by The Yard and they’ll also be festive weekend entertainment on 8 and 9 December.

To encourage people into the city centre to enjoy their Christmas shopping and leisure facilities, Council car parks will be free for late night shopping every Wednesday when entering after 3pm.  

They will also be free between Monday December 17 and Friday December 21 when entering after 3pm in the run up to the big day.

Participating Council 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.

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