Mark Waugh

The countdown to Christmas officially begins when the Manchester Christmas lights are switched on. That means six weeks of festive fun to look forward to in the city.

Thousands of people attend the annual celebration with stars of music, stage and screen providing the entertainment. 

Here’s all the information you need to enjoy this year’s switch-on, including the timings, location and star-studded line-up.

Location

This year, Manchester’s Christmas Lights Switch-on show moves away from Albert Square for the first time as the Town Hall transformation project continues and will take place on Deansgate near the Cathedral instead.

There will be a family viewing area for anyone with pushchairs and small children, accessed via Cateaton Street. An accessible viewing platform will be located next to the exit of the Marks and Spencers car park. This can be accessed via New Cathedral Street (next to Harvey Nichols) and will operate on a first come first served basis.

Date and time

This year’s lights switch-on takes place on Thursday 14th November from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. It is free to attend and you don’t need tickets to see the show. However, the new site on Deansgate has limited capacity and access will be restricted as it gets busy. Council bosses are advising people to arrive an hour early to avoid disappointment.

You are advised not to bring bags to the event wherever possible as there will be security checks in operation and bag inspections will delay admission.

Line-up

This year the switch-on will be hosted by Hits Radio Breakfast’s Fleur East, Greg and James.

Chart-topping songstress Becky Hill will be pushing that all-important button and will be joined on the night by former CBBC presenter HRVY, panto star Zoe George and the cast of sell-out London smash hit Six.

Dr Seuss’ popular children’s tale of How The Grinch Stole Christmas will be brought to life on stage and, in what is becoming a popular annual fixture, the Dance Academy will return with some eye-popping moves.

What's on your mind?