26 October 2022| | 2 min read
Festive plans for Newcastle’s Christmas revealed
It’s beginning to look more like Christmas, as Newcastle City Council announces plans for Christmas and New Year in the city, bringing some festive cheer for everyone.
The council will be again working in partnership with NE1, the city’s business improvement district, to offer a whole range of events and activities, providing what should be a much-needed boost and opportunities to spend time with family and friends.
The traditional curtain-raiser to the season – the Christmas lights switch-on, will take place on the evening of Tuesday 15 November, with more details being released shortly. The Grainger Market will play centre stage in the city’s festivities this year, with a festive overhaul, Santa’s grotto and a programme of special events to be announced; and following last year’s success, the Christmas market will have traders hand-picked mainly from the local area. It will run from Saturday 19 November until Friday 23 December and be extended this year to include not only Grainger Street - with an avenue of stalls leading up to the Grainger Market, and the top of Grey Street, but also Old Eldon Square.
Newcastle’s twin city of Bergen will be presenting the city with its traditional gift of a tree, with details of the lighting ceremony announced in the coming weeks.
And as we approach New Year, Laser Light City returns to Newcastle to illuminate the skies, this year with a spectacular laser light and sound show. Working with the BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle, the dramatic installation can be enjoyed from the Quayside from Friday 30 December until Sunday 1 January, with hourly shows throughout each evening, plus controllable lasers on the Tyne Bridge in between shows.
Councillor Lesley Storey, Cabinet Member for A Vibrant City at Newcastle City Council said: “Christmas and New Year is a time when people want to spend time with their loved-ones, and we want to offer everyone the chance to access good-quality, inclusive events.
“This year, more than ever we are keen to spread some positivity at a time when so many people are struggling. We want to be able to lift everyone’s spirits and hopefully create a sense of wellbeing during these challenging times. We hope the events we have planned will light up our city in more ways than one.
“Our plans in the city centre will focus on the Grainger Market as the hub for local businesses, and I am delighted this year it will have far more of a Christmassy feel, with a festive exterior, more decorations and a dedicated programme of events to suit all tastes. And local traders will be further supported as the ever-popular outdoor Christmas market has been extended.
“Building on the success of last year, I am delighted to welcome back Laser Light City. Not only does this offer a magnificent and environmentally friendly display it also allows local people to curate the shows and interact with the experience, so they really feel part of it.”
NE1 will also be adding some much-needed Christmas cheer this year by again bringing vacant city centre units to life with Christmas themed windows. These will be designed by local school children, students and artists, and local people will also have their chance to get involved through an online competition.
There will also be free-of-charge activities for all ages; a welcome alternative to some of the other, more expensive options.
The popular Search for Santa is a trail for children ending at Newcastle Cathedral, with the chance to meet the big man himself at no cost, and the 24 Doors of Christmas opens the door of a quirky or heritage-based venue each day for 24 days in December, offering the opportunity to visit more unusual places in the city.
Stephen Patterson, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said: “Every year, Newcastle’s Christmas offer improves and evolves, and I am delighted that we continue to build on what was achieved last year. It is hugely important that over the festive period, Newcastle looks its best and that we provide a compelling offer that has something for everyone, including free of charge events and activities for the family.
“The festive offer, including the Grainger Market and the extended Christmas outdoor market will be fantastic for the city, businesses, residents, and visitors alike.
“And we are delighted to welcome back Laser Light City, offering a spectacular, show-stopping event in the run-up to New Year, including New Year’s Eve. Last year, it was recognised nationally as one of the best festive displays, so I am really looking forward to seeing this year’s stunning Quayside extravaganza.”
Key dates for Christmas and New Year events in Newcastle:
Christmas lights switch-on – Tuesday 15 November
Newcastle’s Christmas market – Saturday 19 November until Friday 23 December
Lighting of the Bergen Tree – details to be announced soon
Grainger Market special Sunday openings – Sunday 27 November, Sunday 4, 11 and 18 December
Laser Light City – Friday 30 December until Sunday 1 January
Christmas and New Year is a time when people want to spend time with their loved-ones, and we want to offer everyone the chance to access good-quality, inclusive events.
This year, more than ever we are keen to spread some positivity at a time when so many people are struggling. We want to be able to lift everyone’s spirits and hopefully create a sense of wellbeing during these challenging times. We hope the events we have planned will light up our city in more ways than one
Councillor Lesley Storey
Cabinet Member for A Vibrant City at Newcastle City Council