Christmas in Preston 2021: Switch-on, Father Christmas, reindeer and Winter Wonderland - dates, times and all you need to know

Preston is making up for lost time with a huge Christmas extravaganza this year.

By Clare Kelly
Monday, 15th November 2021, 10:54 am

The city council says it is working with a number of partners to ensure the run-up to Christmas 2021 will make it a year to remember.

The aim is to support the High Street following the pandemic as well as providing a bit of extra festive cheer for residents.

The council has commissioned a series of ‘Christmas Enhancements’ to make visiting the city centre a little more special this year, with something to look forward to every weekend during the festive period.

Christmas in Preston

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Here's all you need to know...

When is Preston’s Christmas lights switch on event?

On Saturday, November 20, the Christmas Lights Switch On event is brought to revellers by Preston BID and Smooth Radio North West, featuring a host of famous names to get everyone in the festive mood. It runs from 5.30pm to 7.45pm with Jo O'Meara, from pop-royalty’s S Club 7, as well Blue singer and soap actor, Lee Ryan, among those performing on the night.

When can I see some reindeer in Preston?

On Saturday, November 27, a magical event will take place in Winckley Square Gardens between 11am and 3pm. Visitors will be able to meet and greet some of Father Christmas’ reindeer, have their face painted, and have photo opportunities with the iconic sleigh, as well as an interactive snow globe.

The reindeer and sleigh are back in Winckley Square Gardens the following weekend, Saturday, December 4, with the Salvation Army Band and the popular Record Fair, both at Preston Markets.

Is there a Christmas market at all?

Returning to the Flag Market on Saturday, December 11, is the ever-popular Preston Makers’ Market, plus bands from Salvation Army and St George the Martyr performing festive and traditional tunes at Preston Markets.

Later that day, the ‘Bratwurst & Butter Pie’ late night shopping event will be hosted by independent businesses on Cannon Street, Winckley Street and Guildhall Street.

Are there any Christmas concerts?

On December 12, join The Friends of Winckley Square for their Christmas Concert in the Gardens on Sunday, December 12, 3pm to 5.30pm.

How about the big man? Is Father Christmas coming to town?

A Winter Wonderland is coming to Winckley Square Gardens on Saturday, December 18, with merry fun, refreshments and activities for all the family to enjoy. Visitors will meet familiar characters, be able to take part in Christmas adventures and of course, meet with Father Christmas himself. Over at Preston Markets, there will be more festive live music.

What the council have said...

Coun David Borrow, Cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “We are looking forward to a great festive season, as we continue to welcome residents and visitors back to Preston.

“Along with shopping, meeting friends and enjoying nights out, these events provide a something a little extra festive, suitable for all the family.

“We hope everyone safely enjoys what’s on offer in the city centre while supporting local businesses this Christmas.”

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