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The festive season is set to kick off in Exeter

Published: 13 November 2019

Exeter Christmas lights  switch on Christmas kicks off in Exeter tonight

Christmas gets underway in Exeter tonight with the first set of lights being switched on in South Street and North Street.

Tonight’s event – South Street and North Street Sings, takes place between 5pm and 7pm. Local community choirs will come together to sing in a parade of music, lanterns and lights starting at North Street and finishing on South Street with special guests the Sounds of the Sirens and the Sirens Choir joining the parade to perform their Christmas single ‘I Still Believe’ in aid of St Petrock’s.

InExeter – the people behind Exeter’s Business Improvement District (BID) will be hosting and celebrating the city’s Christmas lights with a special five-day event series for all the family taking place across all quarters of the city from 13 – 17 November.

The new format of community events will have Exeter’s residents and visitors at their heart, celebrating the city’s heritage, culture, its vibrant businesses and putting the city at centre stage. Five Nights of Lights is the official start of the countdown to Christmas in Exeter this year.

A carnival of colour, lights, music and Christmas celebration will bring Exeter Phoenix, Queen Street, Gandy Street and Guildhall Shopping & Dining to life on Thursday 14 November. Led by the Exeter Street Band and community performers, this spectacular parade will also include a Bad Christmas Jumper Rave organised by Jam the Channel and hosted by Dame Betty Bon Bon from Exeter Northcott’s Beauty & the Beast.

The stars will shine bright with fairy tale princesses and live acapella music kicking off the festivities for Sidwell Street and Paris Street on Friday 15 November. The night’s entertainment will start at 4pm and the festive parade will begin inside John Lewis & Partners ending outside for all to see the lights switched on overhead in Sidwell Street, not forgetting a special meet and greet from the Northcott’s Beauty and Beast. The streets will be lined with pop up food and drinks stalls and craft activities to make families feel extra Christmassy during the Friday celebrations.

From 2pm to 6pm on Saturday 16 November, shoppers will be entertained with festivities for all of the family at the High Street & Castle Street Family Christmas Fair. With free arts and crafts, live music, pop up stalls and lantern making, there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy. Stand and look up in amazement at the Christmas lights as they get switched on by a three-metre-tall puppet of Exeter’s comedy son, Tommy Cooper.

The entertainment doesn’t stop there: join the Fore Street traders for a festive Fore Street Flea, with street food, indie, craft and vintage gift shopping and live music on the final day of Five Nights of Lights from 12pm to 6pm. West Quarter light switch on, the mesmerising lantern parade ends by the stage for a festive finale to the Five Nights of Lights.

Not only will Exeter be illuminated ready for Christmas but with so many other activities signalling the start of Christmas such as Exeter’s Christmas Markets on Cathedral Green, which starts on Saturday 16 November, Gandy Street Countdown to Christmas and late night shopping evenings starting on Thursday 21 November, the city is the stage for everyone’s festive fix this Christmas.

For more information on Christmas in Exeter, visit



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