Northampton’s Christmas light switch on 2023: When and where the annual occasion is set to take place
With ongoing regeneration works in the town centre, Christmas is going to look a little different in Northampton this year.
The Christmas light switch on celebrations will take place from 11am until 6pm on Saturday, November 25 – but not in its usual location in the town centre.
Becket’s Park is the new, temporary home to the annual event and Northampton Town Council has promised a line-up of free, festive fun.
The actual switch on of the lights will happen at 5pm, but be sure to arrive early to make the most of everything on offer.
“This year is unique,” said the Town Council. “Due to regeneration works taking place throughout the town centre, the switch on is taking place at the park – providing the perfect atmosphere for a bumper family event.”
Panto stars from The Deco’s Cinderella and the Royal & Derngate’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including Ore Oduba and Wendi Peters, will be joined onstage by Santa, the Mayor of Northampton and some special guests to begin the countdown ahead of 5pm. Audiences will also get to see a sneak peek of the Cinderella performance.
The day of live stage entertainment will begin at 11am, featuring children’s entertainers, a brass band, and performances from local dance and musical groups – plus a festive finale from the Royal & Derngate Community Choir, led by renowned musical director Gareth Fuller. Some of the entertainers will include Old Savoy Jazz Band, Starlight Sisters and Bespoke Ballroom Dance & Drama Academy by Kristina Rihanoff.
You can get into the festive spirit at the Christmas-themed silent disco, sing along to Christmas karaoke, or visit the ice rink, funfair rides and stalls.
Children can watch festive films on the big screen, join Santa’s elves to make crafts, or relax in the family retreat area with a colouring station, eco play, a reading corner and storytelling sessions. The retreat area will include an elf workshop for sustainable crafting and colouring and Northamptonshire Central Library will be on hand to sign up visitors for borrowing Christmas story books and deliver Festive Rhyme Time and Christmas Tale Sessions with The Wild Tribe elves.
Rotary Club of Northampton Becket will also join the fun with its popular Santa’s sleigh.
There will also be stands for food and drink, including V and B On The Road, seasonal produce and businesses, as well as a Christmas cheer marquee, featuring community groups including Buddies of Becket’s and the Children’s Air Ambulance, festive stalls selling Christmas goodies, plus food, drink and gifts.
Visitors can take part in the ‘12 Days of Christmas Trail’ by following a route around the town centre to find symbols hidden in shops and businesses.
There will also be a Christmas competition where a lucky winner from the prize draw will be invited on stage ahead of the light switch on countdown at 5pm to switch on the Christmas lights alongside Panto Stars, Father Christmas and the special guest.
Everyone taking part in the trail will receive a ticket to enter a draw, with the winner joining the special guests on stage to switch on the lights and receive a special prize.