On Wednesday evening, thousands packed into Broadgate and the city centre to enjoy the fantastic Christmas Lights Switch-on.
The event, which has officially started the festive season in Coventry, was organised by the Council, Coventry Business Improvement District and UK City of Culture 2021.
The live event, which began at 5pm with a stage show presented by Free Radio’s JD and Producer Paul, was capped off by a dazzling festive animation and lighting show which was projected onto the buildings surrounding the square.
Other performers keeping the crowds happy throughout the evening were pop singer Tom Barnwell alongside an array of local talent including Josh Hale, Abz Winter, Coventry Young Ambassador’s Choir and Coventry Council’s Choir.
Andy Williams, Director of Business Investment and Culture at the Council said:
“We wanted to do something truly unique for this year’s switch-on and it was really pleasing to see thousands of people In Broadgate out enjoying the spectacular show.
“The event is always hugely popular and it’s brilliant that the evening was packed full of Coventry performers, who were able to showcase the talent that exists in this city as we build to 2021 and the city’s year as UK City of Culture.
“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 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 Manager and Director said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come out and celebrate the start of Christmas in Coventry last night! The live performances from local choirs, singers and dance schools were brilliant and the spectacular projections across the building in Broadgate, alongside the lights switch on, brought the ‘wow’ factor to finish off the evening in style. We are excited to continue the festive cheer with the various #YuleLoveCov events that are running in the city centre throughout December.”
Jon Davis, of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This was a wonderful way to begin the countdown to Christmas in Coventry and hinted towards the fantastic things that are possible when we work collaboratively with colleagues at Coventry City Council and Coventry BID.
“Brought to Light – the installation of community-created solar-powered lanterns – has brought a new dimension to the Christmas lights in Broadgate and we look forward to seeing pictures and video on social media using #BroughtToLight.”
All the action from the evening can be seen on the Council's Flickr.
To mark the start of late-night shopping and encourage footfall in the lead up to the important Christmas shopping period, the Council is offering free car parking for anyone that enters after 3pm in its city centre car parks.
This parking offer will be running on all late-night Wednesday shopping days, in the run up to Christmas, to make it more affordable for people to visit the city.
Participating Council car parks are Barracks Multi-Storey Car Park, Bishop Street / Tower Street Car Park, Cheylesmore Car Park, City Arcade Car Park, Cox Street car park, Gosford Street Car Park, Grosvenor Road Car Park, Grove Street Car Park, Lower Ford Street Car Park, Manor House Car Park, Moat Street car park, New Union Street Multi-Storey Car Park, Salt Lane Car Park, Spon Street Car Park, West Orchards Multi-Storey Car Park, Westminster Road Car Park, Whitefriars Car Park