Christmas lights switch-on and festivities announced for Weston

Weston Christmas lights.

Weston Christmas lights. - Credit: Archant

Weston will come alight with festive lights on Saturday when the official Christmas lights switch-on takes place to commence the start of a range of celebrations and events in the town.

This year the town's mayor, Cllr James Clayton, is pleased to announce he will be joined by Weston’s own Jake Cornish from the reality TV show Love Island and 15-year old Nicholas Nikiforou from Weston who is an award-winning motivational speaker for the switch-on ceremony at 5pm.

It is the first batch of in-person festive celebrations for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

People enjoying the Weston Christmas lights switch on at the Italian Gardens in High Street. Pict

People enjoying the Weston Christmas lights switch on at the Italian Gardens in High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Weston Town Council and the Business Improvement District (BID) organise the Christmas tree and official lights switch-on event annually, with this year seeing a range of post-pandemic festivities supported by the BID, partners and businesses.

Facilitated by North Somerset Council, a two-day outdoor Festive Fayre in the Italian Gardens will take place with local producers selling a range of crafts, gifts and seasonal favourites from 10am-10pm on Saturday and 10am-8pm on Sunday.

Father Christmas and Nanny Christmas will be in attendance both days, with story time slots and pre-bookable visits for children available via the Weston Festive Fayre Facebook page.

Father Christmas, Mayor Mark Canniford and guests switching on the Weston Christmas lights at the It

Father Christmas, Mayor Mark Canniford and guests switching on the Weston Christmas lights at the Italian Gardens in High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

December 12 sees the return of Eat Weston, with a special Christmas event with more than 70 food and drink producers at the Winter Gardens from 10am-4pm with free entry, entertainment and another visit from Santa himself.

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Christmas starts in the Sovereign Shopping Centre with a Santa trail from Saturday until January 3, 2022, in and around the shopping centre, plus the installation of its Christmas tree and a Tree of Light in the food hall for Weston Hospicecare.

There will be late night shopping until 7pm, plus free parking in the shopping centre car park after 3pm each Thursday throughout December. The car park will remain open until 9pm Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Father Christmas and his family at the Weston Christmas lights switch on at the Italian Gardens in H

Father Christmas and his family at the Weston Christmas lights switch on at the Italian Gardens in High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Exclusive Brainiac ‘Mission to Mars family workshops will be taking place five times daily in the shopping centre from until December 22 inclusive. It is an immersive and fun ‘edutainment’ activity to coincide with the start of the Christmas school holidays, with suggested donations to Weston Hospicecare.

To coincide with the lights switch-on, The Stable will be holding an indoor Artisan Christmas Market with lots of wonderful local producers within their buildings on Wadham Stree, from 5pm to 8pm on Saturday.

Weston Christmas lights in High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston Christmas lights in High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Cllr James Clayton, mayor of Weston and also a BID Warden said: “This year, despite the pandemic continuing somewhat, we really want to celebrate Christmas this year in Weston.

"I’m delighted to be able to mark the start of our festivities with the Christmas lights switch-on alongside Weston residents, Jake Cornish who featured in Love Island and the inspirational Nicholas Nikiforou.

“Nick, who has campaigned for kindness and equality for many years after being born with a facial disfigurement and is the youngest ever recipient of the Diana Legacy Award, awarded by His Royal Highnesses Prince William and Prince Harry amongst his other accolades, will mark for a great occasion this year and I urge everyone to come and celebrate with us all this year in Weston.”

Prince William and Prince Harry with Legacy award-winner Nicholas Nikiforou .

Prince William and Prince Harry with Legacy award-winner Nicholas Nikiforou . - Credit: Archant

Steve Townsend, town centre and BID manager, added: “The Christmas lights switch-on is always one of the highlights of the year for the BID team and with last year’s event being cancelled due to the pandemic, this year we will be offering free mulled wine and mince pies and enjoying carols around the Christmas tree accompanied by Weston Brass Brand to celebrate what I hope will be the start of a great festive period for all town centre businesses, residents and visitors to Weston.”

For more information and the latest news on all of the events and festivities in the town centre, you can follow Weston BID on Facebook www.facebook.com/westonbid, where any announcements will be made should anything change nearer the time. 

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