Newport city centre will start the countdown to Christmas with a spectacular event packed with fun for all the family on Saturday, November 27.
And after Covid-19 restrictions meant last year’s event had to be held online, next month’s lights switch-on will be live and in-person.
Running from 3pm to 5.15pm, Countdown to Christmas will feature live music, fairground rides and celebrity guests, culminating in the official switching on of Newport’s city centre Christmas lights and a breath-taking fireworks display.
Organised by the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Newport City Council, Friars Walk and Newport City Radio, Countdown to Christmas will mirror the BID’s hugely-successful pre-pandemic events with the main stage based at the junction of Charles Street and Commercial Street.
Big-name musical acts will be on stage during the day along with local artists, and a special celebrity guest will be helping the city’s mayor Councillor David Williams push the button to light up the city centre for the festive season.
There will be fairground rides along the riverfront and Commercial Street, and the event will culminate with the Christmas lights switch-on at 5pm followed by the fireworks display at 5.15pm.
Newport Now BID chairman Zep Bellavia said:
“Our Saturday Countdown to Christmas events have been hugely successful, with thousands of people enjoying the day, and we’re so pleased to be able to offer some real joy to the businesses and people of Newport after such a challenging 18 months.
“We had no choice last year but to stage the event as an online livestream and although more than 13,000 people watched the show, it just wasn’t the same as being live on the streets of the city centre.
“We are sure families from across Newport and beyond will again visit the city centre for what promises to be a fantastic event packed with surprises.”
Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, said:
“I am pleased that we will be able to come together in person for the Christmas lights switch-on at this year’s Countdown to Christmas event.
“Newport Now has planned another exciting Christmas countdown, and I am looking forward to celebrating with everyone next month.
“As we prepare for the festive period, I’d encourage everyone to buy local and support our shops, hospitality venues and other businesses who are the lifeblood of our community.
“It is also important that we still follow local and national guidelines around Covid to keep our families, friends and communities safe this festive period.
“Together, we can make this a Christmas to remember for Newport.”
Friars Walk Centre Director, Simon Pullen, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting the city centre lights switch-on and hope that everyone enjoys the entertainment on offer, as well as the spectacular fireworks display, which we are proud to sponsor.”
More details about the event – including the special celebrity guest and other musical performers – will be revealed over the next few weeks.