Chichester Christmas lights switch-on: Here's what to expect

As we move nearer the festive season, Chichester BID has outlined what this year's Christmas light switch-on event could look like.

A 'real-life superhero' will switch on the lights in Chichester City Centre this year thanks to a special competition that Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) is launching.

The BID has invited people to nominate a member of the community who has 'lit up their lives' in the past year.

Christmas lights in the city in 2019. Courtesy of Chichester BID

This could be a family member, friend, neighbour, NHS worker, teacher or community champion who has made a real difference over the last 12 months and deserves recognition.

The Christmas light switch-on will take place on Saturday November 27 with activities led by The Rotary Clubs of Chichester.

At 4.45pm the Oakwood School Choir will start the celebrations by singing at The Market Cross.

The Chichester Festival of Light Lantern Parade will meet outside Café Nero in East Street from 4.45pm, commencing at 5.00pm with a slow march up East Street towards The Cross.

This will be led by the Chichester Town Crier, Richard Plowman, and the TS Sturdy marching band.

Everyone is invited to join in with lanterns and torches helping to make this a joyous occasion as we welcome Christmas to our lovely city.

Following the parade and the blessing of the tree by the Dean of Chichester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Stephen Waine, there will be a countdown to the switch-on of the lights by the selected superhero at 5.30pm.

This will be followed by musical entertainment and community carols led by students from the University of Chichester and joined by Chichester City Band.

The Chichester Community Development Trust will be on the Cathedral Green from 12pm - 4pm running a free Lantern Making Workshop for children ready to take part in the parade.

Following the switching on of the lights on 27 November, Chichester city centre will host a whole programme of festive events throughout December including four Late Night Shopping Evenings on Thursday 2, 9, 16 and 23 December from 4pm – 7pm.

During these events there will be street entertainment, live music, school choir performances, a children’s trail as well as festive foodie treats and drinks to be enjoyed.

There will also be free parking from 4pm on each of these evenings in the Avenue De Chartres car park.

Helen Marshall continued: “Our aim is to create a truly memorable Christmas shopping experience for locals and visitors alike. We want to deliver plenty of festive fun in a magical setting throughout these important shopping dates to encourage people into the city centre to support their local retailers before enjoying a meal out in one of our many restaurants or pubs.”

A panel of judges including Helen Marshall, CEO and vice chair of Chichester BID; Canon Precentor, the Reverend Jack Dunn of Chichester Cathedral; Andrew Churchill, director of The Oxmarket Gallery; Lynne Brechin, president of The Rotary Club of Chichester; Michael Spencer, manager of Marks and Spencer in Chichester; and Matt Horstead, Owner of Dartagnan Menswear will select the winning entry.

Nominations can be made on the Chichester BID website at 14 November 2021.

Follow Chichester BID on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with further details on their Christmas 2021 events and activities or visit their website