Switch on Christmas in Sheffield city centre

It's about to get a little bit magical in Sheffield. Photo by Caleb Woods.
It's about to get a little bit magical in Sheffield. Photo by Caleb Woods.

Have you heard?

Christmas is back with a bang here in Sheffield city centre, and it’s kicking off on Thursday with the return of the much-loved Christmas markets.

The main event will then be on Sunday (18 November) however, when the countdown to switching on the city’s colourful Christmas lights will begin from 2pm.

Elf on the Shelf and Father Christmas, along with plenty of other children’s film and TV characters, will be making appearances on the main stage between the Town Hall and the Peace Gardens – not to mention star of the Sheffield Christmas Trail Brearley Bear, who’ll be telling us how to help him out this Christmas.

With a fairy grotto, carol singing, Christmas craft, story-telling, fairground rides and fire engine rides as well as the Christmas markets on Fargate, be sure to head to the main stage from 2pm to see Heart Yorkshire breakfast presenters Dixie and Emma introduce the various acts.

Joining them on stage for performances will be X-Factor’s teen singing sensation Molly Scott, Britain’s Got Talent star Kyle Tomlinson and The Voice finalist, Lucy Milburn, as well as the cast of this year’s Peter Pan pantomime showing at the Lyceum, Milkshake’s David Ribi and Panto legend Damien Williams.

There’ll also be performances from dance troops, choirs and the Hyde Park Brass Band.

The surprise guest for the big switch on is still to be revealed.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said:

“Our light switch on event truly signifies the start of Christmas in Sheffield, drawing thousands of people to come out and celebrate this magical time of year together.

As well as the beautiful lights and decorations that will illuminate Sheffield this year, we have some brilliant acts and fantastic activities and appearances to get everyone feeling festive.

Last year was one of our biggest crowds yet, with more than 37,000 people coming along to kick-off their Christmas celebrations and with our brilliant entertainment, markets, fairground rides, festive bars and children’s activities I hope we’ll see even more this year to enjoy this wonderful occasion.”

Why not spend the day down on The Moor to warm up for main event? It’ll be hosting a big Christmas party, where the kids can meet the Snow Queen, Santa and his elves, as well as plenty of carol-singing and entertainment from 12:30pm until 4:30pm (just in time to catch the lights switch-on countdown at 5:30pm). Find out more here.

As in previous years, the council is offering free Christmas parking every Sunday right up until the big day. Starting in time for the big switch on, there will be six free Sunday parking days, from Sunday 18 November to Sunday 23 December in all council car parks and on-street parking bays.

The car park at John Lewis will also be kept open late for those visiting the city centre on Sunday 18 November. Debenhams on the Moor is also joining in the festive cheer with a four-day offer of free parking for their customers for up to two hours, from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 December.

Find out what else is on to get you and the whole family feeling festive this year in Sheffield.