Full Christmas Light Switch-on programme announced as 2-week countdown begins

Light installation at City Square

With 2 weeks to go until City of Lincoln Council’s Civic Party, along with special celebrity guests kick-start Christmas in the city with a light switch-on, the full programme has now been announced.

Taking place on Thursday 23 November, just after 7pm, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lincoln Cllr Biff Bean and Mayoress, Wendy Bean, the City Sheriff Cllr Neil Murray and Sheriff’s Lady Dorinda Hudson, plus guests from New Theatre Royal’s 2023 pantomime and media partner BBC Radio Lincolnshire will officially switch on the lights.

The main evening event will see a range of entertainment on Lincoln High Street from 4pm, including festive songs, entertainment, DJ sets, stilt-walkers and a special performance from the cast of New Theatre Royal’s Christmas pantomime Aladdin.

The full programme of entertainment includes:

  • 4.30 pm: BBC Lincolnshire’s DJ (Charlie Burley)
  • 6.00 pm: Sam Bickmore (Drummer)
  • 6.10pm: Compere introductions from BBC Radio Lincolnshire
  • 6.15 pm: County Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society (CAODS) performance from ELF
  • 6.30 pm: BBC Lincolnshire’s Scott and Fran 
  • 6.40 pm: Performance from the cast of ‘Aladdin’ – New Theatre Royal
  • 6.55 pm: A Christmas message from the Mayor of Lincoln
  • 7pm - 7.05 pm: THE BIG SWITCH ON featuring a switch on musical montage ‘live’ on BBC Radio Lincolnshire
  • 7.05pm - 7.20pm - DJ set 

Special celebrity guests, who will join the civic party in turning on the High Street lights include Olympic Gold medallist and Strictly Come Dancing Champion Louis Smith MBE and Strictly professional Ian Waite. Joining them on stage will be West End Star Roger Wright, who will play Genie of the Lamp in this year’s Aladdin panto.

Louis, who also won The Masked Dancer, will take the role of the baddy this year – Abanazar, while Ian takes the role of Jasmine’s father: Sultan Cha-Cha-Cha. 

Entertainment will also include a performance from local drummer Sam Bickmore, who has received widespread recognition for his drumming achievements at such a young age with numerous TV, radio and magazine features and Christmas music from 20 members of CAODs, the County Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society, who have just completed their run of ‘Elf the Musical’ at the New Theatre Royal.

New for 2023, the city council has invested more than £140,000 in brand new lighting for the city, which will see lights from Newport Arch, all the way down to St Mark's Street, with some ‘wow’ displayed including a dazzling fairy-light display within Exchequer Gate Arch and a 16m illuminated comet in City Square. 

Kate Fenn, Civic & International Partnerships Manager at City of Lincoln Council and organiser of the event added: “We are delighted to host another Lincoln Christmas Light Switch-on event.  

“This is an event that attracts thousands of people every year and we look forward to a great evening’s entertainment and to welcoming everyone to join in the festivities and celebrate the season!”

Cllr Biff Bean, the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Lincoln added: “The Lincoln Christmas Light Switch-On event really does kickstart the festivities in the city, and I for one am extremely excited to welcome both visitors and residents to what promises to be an incredible event.

“The city has some fantastic, brand new lights this year and I’m thrilled to be officially switching them on and lighting up Lincoln!”

Natalie Hayes-Cowley, Artistic Director at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln and producer of their pantomime said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this lovely festive event for the city. 

“Our incredibly talented cast can’t wait to perform for you all!”

Visitors will also benefit from free car parking between 4pm and 9.30pm on 23 November for the event at any downhill City of Lincoln Council car park by either visiting Lincoln Central Car Park, or by using the PaybyPhone app at all other council-owned car parks in the city.

Published on November 9th 2023