All is bright...at the Christmas lights switch-on event

Christmas is coming to Guildford on Thursday 21 November when our High Street will be full of entertainment for all the family at our annual Christmas lights switch-on event.

Brought to you by Guildford Borough Council, Experience Guildford, Guildford Fringe and GEEYOU, and supported by 96.4 Eagle Radio, the lights will be switched on at 7pm, followed by a grand firework finale kindly sponsored by Experience Guildford.

There will be lots to see and do; visit Santa in his sleigh in the Tunsgate Quarter, grab an #ElfieSelfie with the Experience Guildford elves, enjoy live music and don't forgot the mascot parade. The Guildhall balcony show begins at 6pm, hosted by Eagle Radio's Peter Gordon who will be joined by the cast of the Yvonne Arnaud pantomime, Sleeping Beauty.

Cllr Richard Billington, Mayor of Guildford, said: "Our annual community event in our historic High Street marks the start of the town's countdown to Christmas. With lots to see and do, why not make a day of it with some shopping and a meal at one of our many places to eat."

He added: "The event does get very busy and can be very noisy, so again this year we are providing some dedicated quiet spaces for those who prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the High Street. You'll find these at Skipton Building Society (walk in) or you can book a space in Cafe Nero at House of Fraser via GEEYOU by emailing hello@geeyou.co.uk."

Amanda Masters, Chief Executive at Experience Guildford, said: "All eyes will again be on Guildford this year as we celebrate the start of Christmas in style with our much-loved Christmas lights switch-on event. A key date for visitors and retailers alike, the event is a fabulous showcase of all that the town has to offer over the festive season.

"In what is the most important trading period of the year, the lights switch-on event also signals the start of late-night shopping for some retailers and the launch of our 'Little Book of Offers' Christmas voucher book, packed full of great deals for all to enjoy across the town. Thanks to all our partners and BID members for their ongoing support, and here's to another great Christmas in Guildford."

The event does get very busy, so to ensure a good view, please allow plenty of time and, due to the crowds and noise, also consider whether the event is suitable for young children or those with sensitivities.

Timetable of events:

  • 1pm to 5pm - See Santa in his sleigh at Tunsgate Quarter!
  • 2pm to 6pm - Find the Experience Guildford elves around town and get your #ElfieSelfie with the chance to win a prize
  • 3.30pm - Experience Guildford stage opens outside Holy Trinity Church (enjoy music from local acts including Guildford and Godalming Rock Choir and Guildford Jazz Choir right up until the balcony show)
  • 5pm - Join the Mascot parade up the High Street, starting from White Lion Walk
  • 6pm - Countdown to the switch on with the balcony show from the Guildhall, with Eagle Radio's Peter Gordon, the cast of the Yvonne Arnaud's panto, Sleeping Beauty - plus special guests
  • 7pm - The Christmas Lights will be switched on, followed by a dazzling fireworks display sponsored by Experience Guildford
  • The Balcony Show will also be broadcast to big screens opposite M&S and above the stage, so even more people can get a really good view!
  • 7.15pm to 8.30pm - Boogie the evening away with Latitude back at the Experience Guildford Stage.


(All information correct at time of publishing and is subject to change.)

Published on Wednesday 6 November.