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Thousands Attend Leicester Christmas Lights Switch On


This weekend saw the town centre packed for a feast of festive fun with the traditional Christmas lights switch on moving to Humberstone Gate for the first time.


The switch-on of the city centre’s 20,000 lights this Sunday was moved from the Town Hall to better accommodate the thousands of people who attended.


A specially built stage at the bottom of Humberstone Gate featured performances from Leicester Theatre Group, music from local bands and a special visit from cast members of De Montfort Hall’s pantomime, Aladdin as well as a an appearance from Father Christmas who helped with the countdown to the lights switch-on.


At 4.30pm, Lord Mayor of Leicester Cllr Mustafa Kamal flicked on the switch to light up Leicester’s town Centre.


The Town Hall Square was a focal point for the celebrations, with a Christmas procession led by three camel-riding Kings setting off from there.



The Cultural Quarter was also involved in the celebrations by hosting a free ‘Light the Night’ festival which included performances from some of the region’s most promising young musicians followed by a spectacular festival of light which saw a series of animations projected onto buildings in Halford Street, while in Orton Square, a digital firework display was projected onto a massive 60ft screen. Visitors were able to trigger multi-coloured fireworks by touching the screen.


The Light the Night festival was inspired by Leicester’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2017, and was put together by the Phoenix cinema and arts centre, Leicester’s Cultural Quarter Business Association and artists’ collective Creative Manifesto.


Visitors to the city centre had the chance to sample festive delights at Leicester Market, which held its fifth Winter Food and Crafts Festival showcasing everything from curries and samosas to hot roast chestnuts.


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